SALTEX 2014 artcile picThe inaugural IOG Young Groundsmen’s Conference being held at this year’s SALTEX (Sports, Amenities, Landscaping Trade Exhibition) is being sponsored by Rigby Taylor in association with its seed breeding partner, Top Green.

The two companies are at the forefront of supplying innovative products for the successful management and maintenance of turf surfaces, and are committed to promoting excellence across all aspect of sports grounds management.

The ‘Our Career, Your Future’ Conference – on Tuesday September 2 at Windsor Racecourse – is a major educational initiative designed to enlighten young people about the benefits of a career in groundscare. The event will also bring head groundsmen up to date with advice on how to attract youngsters into the industry by offering expert advice on apprenticeships.

Young people will gain invaluable career-shaping advice from head groundsmen at high profile, international sports venues. They will also learn about the benefits of working in the industry from young groundsmen who are currently progressing their careers across a wide range of sports facilities.

Commenting on the sponsorship announcement, Rigby Taylor’s marketing director Richard Fry, stated: “It’s not often that an opportunity arises to promote education and development to the next generation of groundsmen, and we are very excited about becoming involved with the IOG Young Groundsmen’s Conference.

“Rigby Taylor has a long history of supporting industry association initiatives, particularly in the area of education and development. We are a long-term sponsor of the IOG Young Groundsman of the Year Award and were a founder Golden Key member of the BIGGA Education and Development Fund.

“Most recently, the company has also sponsored a full set of ‘technology tools’ for each of the 10 newly appointed IOG regional pitch advisors to advance the development of grassroots playing surface groundsmanship.”

Geoff Webb, IOG chief executive, added: “Developing opportunities for young people in grounds management is a key aim of the IOG and I am very pleased that such significant industry names have stepped up to sponsor this inaugural event. Rigby Taylor and Top Green must be applauded for their proactive support.”

Chaired by 28-year-old John Ledwidge, head groundsman at Leicester City FC, the Conference will include a question and answer session with Keith Kent from Twickenham Stadium and England & Wales Cricket Board pitches consultant Chris Wood, as well as Neil Stubley from the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club.

IOG representatives will take questions and discuss the numerous training pathways available before 27-year-old Ryan Golding from Leeds Rugby, takes to the stage to provide first-hand advice on how he has travelled the industry career path to become head groundsman at one of the country’s leading rugby stadia.

In addition, there will also be a question and answer session with the IOG Young Board of Directors (who programmed the event), a group of young groundsmen who are continually ‘spreading the industry word’ in schools and colleges, as well as to young people at public events up and down the country.

Visit www.iogsaltex.com for full details.

SALTEX (www.iogsaltex.com), the Sports Amenities Landscaping Trade Exhibition organised by the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) and managed by Brintex Events, will be held on 2-4 September 2014 at Windsor Racecourse, Berks. Founded in 1938, the exhibition is attended by open space professionals and volunteers who design, construct, manage and maintain the UK's outdoor facilities - from sports grounds of every type to motorway service stations, and from stately homes to local council parks and schools.

They visit SALTEX to meet suppliers of the machinery, tools, vehicles, turf, soils, seeds, aggregates, artificial or natural surfaces, playgrounds, landscaping equipment, street furniture, arboriculture, horticulture, safety, security, training and education services designed to help them do their jobs as effectively as possible.

Organised by the Institute of Groundsmanship – and managed by Brintex Events - the first IOG exhibition was staged in 1938, the forerunner to today’s SALTEX Sports, Amenities Landscaping Trade Exhibition. Held annually at Windsor Racecourse, SALTEX is the annual extravaganza for everyone who cares for and/or manages open spaces – including groundsmen, greenkeepers, contractors, local authority and leisure facility managers. The Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) is the leading membership organisation representing grounds managers, groundsmen, grounds maintenance managers, greenkeepers and all others involved in the management of sports pitches, landscape and amenity facilities in the UK. As well as maintaining the IOG Performance Quality Standards and providing a consultancy service for sports grounds, lawn maintenance and amenity horticulture, the IOG’s extensive Training and Education programme includes cricket, football, tennis, horseracing, bowls, artificial surfaces, turf science and many other specialist subjects. For more information visit www.iog.org