The UK & Ireland Grassroots Pitch Renovation Tour - a series of full pitch renovations aimed at improving the quality of Grassroots natural turf sports pitches across the UK and Ireland is underway
Five venues: Cambourne Sports Club, Cambridge, Maidstone South Park courtesy of Maidstone Borough Council, Fawley Parish Council, Hampshire, Cantely Park of Wokingham Borough Council and Coopers Field, Cardiff have already held their days with an excellent turnout across the board.
Over 200 groundsmen from across the spectrum of local council, schools, contractors, football and rugby clubs attended and were enthusiastic about all aspects of the day. The seminars were informative and the demonstrations took place after lunch, with time allowed for networking and further discussion with the sponsors at their own static display plots around the demo areas.
Alistair Ogilvie and James McGrenery were from St Christophers School, Letchworth. Both found the Cambourne event well worth the trip. "It was a brilliant day" said James "Not too intense, but left you wanting to find out more. We would certainly be looking at how we can apply what we have seen and heard to our own situations."
Martin Mayturn from Maidstone Rugby Club declared; "It was great to meet other Groundsman and listen to the talks from different companies. The afternoon demonstrations were very interesting and it was impressive to see what could be done with the right equipment.
Nigel Floyd Head Groundsman at New Hall School, Chelmsford Essex also found the day at Cambourne of value "It has been extremely informative to see what can be achieved within our budgets."
By educating grassroots groundsmen using the latest machinery and most innovative industry techniques, the standard of local pitches can increase dramatically, and the tour will show how by implementing small, as well as large changes to your maintenance practices, regardless of budget restraints, you can radically improve the quality of your pitches in a short space of time. There are many grants available from all the different associations as well as finance packages designed to help spread the cost of new machinery. These events show the best of the equipment available in today's extremely competitive market and those which give greatest value for your investment.
Registration is simple - just go on-line www.pitchimprovementprogramme.com and fill out the form adding an RSVP address so follow up photographs of the event you attend can be sent to you afterwards. A video showing some of the action can also be seen on the website.
John Sayer from Crowborough Rugby FC expressed his thanks to Campey Turf Care Systems and the other sponsors "I just want to say how much I enjoyed the whole day at Maidstone today. I am not a 'grounds' professional at all, just an enthusiastic rugby volunteer. Presentations were well presented and the on pitch demonstrations amazing. I have heard of Koro-ing but never seen it done. Amazing!"
Machines being demonstrated include the Koro Field Top Maker® with Terraplane Rotor® will be used for the renovation, and will show how effective fraise mowing can be when done with a Koro.
This machine will be joined by the Imants Shockwave to demonstrate the importance of relieving compaction. As a liner decompactor it is designed to revitalise the effects of heavy wear, improving aeration and removing surface water, which is a common cause of postponed games at grass roots level.
The Shockwave features no-chains, direct drive design maintenance free 'sealed for life' bearing and no shear bolts, making it perfect low maintenance machine.
The Raycam Speedresser will accompany these two machines, demonstrating its ability to bulk drop-spread all top dressing materials on the four flotation tyres, which are on a pivoting axle to minimise the risk of turf damage and compaction.
As the tour aims to give a rounded educational experience we will also be featuring grass seed products from our sponsors, Limagrain. The company's range of seed is perfect for winter sports pitches, with their leading MM60 and Designer Action Replay mixes only two of a number of highly rated products that they have to offer.
ICL will also be talking groundsmen through their range of products, explaining what best to use to deal with specific problems and how to maintain a healthy sward.
New Holland tractors will also play a big part in driving the event, and will not only be used to demonstrate machinery on the day, but also the difference having a high quality tractor can make.
SISIS will also be providing equipment for the tour, with a vast range of machines and hand operated tools that can be used for both pitch renovation and on-going maintenance.
Whilst the tour is focusing on renovating a pitch, the preparation of a newly rejuvenated surface is also very important. Sponsors Dennis and ALS will be showcasing products that can help maintain a rejuvenated surface.
Dennis has a renowned range of mowers built specifically with football, rugby and hockey in mind, including the G660, G760 and the G860 as well as their Premier Range and Gang Mowers.
Pitchcare will be demonstrating the Graco Fieldlazer S90 MKII. The patented American engineered machine uses high pressure airless line marking spray technology. The marker is designed with ease of start-up; simple operation and quick clean up in mind, helping the operator save time and money. Visit the stand to pick up free a Pitchcare magazine, receive technical advice or discuss opportunities to discuss procurement on over 2000 market leading products distributed by Pitchcare and sister company ALS (Amenity Land Solutions).
For the full range of equipment from Campey Turf Care Systems visit www.campeyturfcare.com