ESSMA Pitch Management Workshop Leicester: The Key Takeaways
The host venue for ESSMA's two-day Pitch Management Workshop, held May 10 and 11, was Leicester City Football Club’s King Power Stadium. Throughout the season, their pitch has been the focus of much talk in both the grounds staff sector and wider afield thanks to the hard work and dedication of Grounds Manager John Ledwidge and his team.
They have become adept at creating visually-stunning patterns on the pitch to showcase not only what they can do, but also to shine a spotlight on the grounds staff industry as a whole.
The ESSMA Pitch Management Workshop was the scene for a UK first. John and his team, together with ESSMA Stadium Partner New Ground Technology, created a detailed logo design around the centre-circle during the event. Using the company’s patented ‘Green’ technology, Leicester City’s crest was ‘printed’ on to the pitch by gently bending the turf in opposing directions to create light and dark contrasts using only air.
The comprehensive presentations delivered detailed all aspects pertaining to pitch management, from pitch renovations, tools & technologies, to player injury/turf injury management, budget control and how to effectively manage and deliver events on your most valuable asset; your turf.
Over the course of the Workshop, attendees heard from LCFC’s John Ledwidge, Simon Gibson and Callum Allsop, Arsenal FC’s Head Groundsman, Reece Watson, Manchester City Football Club’s Head Groundsman, Lee Jackson and the Institute of Groundsmanship’s (IOG) CEO, Geoff Webb and Head of Member Services, Dan Prest. In addition STRI’s Head of Sports Surface Design, Richard Gibbs, Terraplas’ Operations Manager, Andrea Fodczuk, and Stade de France’s Head Groundsman, Tony Stones where involved in different panel discussions.
The common threads and noteworthy key takeaways from the ESSMA Pitch Management Workshop were as follows: