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IoG Launches 'Get Into Grounds' Exhibit At Saltex

Thu 19th Sep 2013 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

SALTEX visitors witnessed the launch of the Institute of Groundsmanship's (IOG) 'Get Into Grounds' interactive exhibit at its first point of call in the IOG Hub at Windsor Racecourse in early September. 

Funded by a £43,700 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the exhibit celebrates the accumulation of 12 months research, by young groundsmen, into how turf care has evolved in the intervening period between the 1948 and the 2012 London Olympic Games.

The exhibit is designed as an interactive journey through this time period and features bite-sized facts on key industry milestones via a giant timeline and provides a showcase for artefacts and examples of past and present turf care practices. 

Video footage is also displayed on three interactive screens  - offering a snapshot of interviews with SALTEX site manager and former Wimbledon FC head groundsman Derek Walder; Keith Kent, head groundsman at Twickenham Stadium; and Alison Polawski, head groundsperson at Rodean School.

There's also an insight into how Wembley Stadium head groundsman Tony Stones prepared for the Olympic football matches. 

Helping young people better understand the career opportunities within groundsmanship was a key driver in the design brief for this exhibit. Project director Karen Woolland worked with members of the IOG Young Board of Directors and a group of young groundsmen to ensure that the display was informative, interactive and engaging. 

Commenting on the project, Karen Woolland says: "It was great to see how the young project group's time and research had produced an exciting exhibit that will be used to raise awareness of the IOG's 'Get into Grounds' campaign, and the groundscare sector in general, among people outside the industry."

IOG CEO Geoff Webb added: "This initiative demonstrates clearly how we at the IOG embrace and engage with young people who not only have the drive, motivation and ambition to succeed but also, as can be seen from the exhibit, have some great and innovative ideas. 

"This exhibit should be seen by as many as possible as it really does explain well what our profession is and how it has evolved. 

"By backing this project with a significant grant, HLF has provided the opportunity to broaden the scope of partners involved and we look forward to the reaction as this exhibit goes on display in the future, raising public awareness of how sports turf management contributes to so much sporting success."

Next stop for the exhibit will be the National Football Museum, Manchester, in November. There are also plans afoot for it to be staged at Wembley Stadium in 2014. 

Posted by: Aaron Gourley

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