Message Board IOG Comments
The latest edition of the Groundsman has brought an interesting array of comments to the Message Board. Many of our members have some strong views on the way the IOG appears to be heading.
Apparently, the item which generated the response was the statement that the IOG has plans for a significant development of their website and improvements to the Groundsman magazine.
However, based on the level and range of criticisms posted on the Message Board, the issues appear to be much wider - "should work harder for its members; forgetting what it is there to do; geared up for 'old folk'; failed to deliver"
There is clearly a degree of dissatisfaction within the IOG membership, and some growing concern about its priorities.
Pitchcare's stance on the IOG has always been the same. Our aim is to improve the status of Groundsmen and Greenkeepers, and to raise the awareness and profile of the industry. We have always been prepared to work with and promote organisations and businesses with similar aims.
We believe, however, that there should be an avenue for people within the industry to express their opinions, providing they are made in a reasonable and inoffensive manner.
Pitchcare is happy to provide such a forum for debate, and to allow organisations such as the IOG to decide for themselves if they wish to use any of the comments for their own purposes. Indeed, we would be more than happy to give the IOG space on the site, or time in the Chat Forum, to promote their work and plans.
There have been suggestions that Pitchcare is in direct opposition to the IOG - nothing could be further from the truth.
Prior to our launch, discussions were held with the IOG about how we could work together on supporting Groundsmen and Greenkeepers and how to move the industry forward. The IOG expressed their support of the concept in principle, but decided that, at that stage, they did not want any other involvement.
Whilst we were disappointed in their decision not to support a fresh and unique concept, Pitchcare did not and does not have any problem with their decision. As a newcomer to the industry it was understandable for there to be some wariness about our sustainability.
Our own backing of the IOG has not been inconsiderable, with stands at Saltex and regular adverts in the Groundsman. One of our earliest editorials focussed on an interview with the Chief Executive, Pat Gosset, and we have also promoted IOG training and educational courses via the site. We shall continue to do so.
One of the Message Board contributors states, "The IOG has a place as the leader and educational body of the industry."
We do not disagree with that statement. On the contrary, we believe the IOG has many strengths and, importantly, the position to influence change for the better.
What is important, however, is for the IOG to openly involve their membership in their decision making process and to encourage all supportive agencies to work with them for the benefit of the industry as a whole.
Finally, why try and provide what Pitchcare and the trade press are already providing? Surely it is simpler and more effective to embrace the media and let us all move the industry forward to where it needs to be.