Industry stars line up for this year’s IOG ‘ahead of the game’ sports turf conference


They will be part of an education programme that promises to enlighten and entertain groundsmen across all sporting disciplines, professionals and volunteers alike.

FIFA’s Stuart Larman will be making the Keynote Address, while Mark Camley of the London Legacy Company; Murray Cook, President of Brickman Sports Turf in America; trainer and conference speaker Frank Newberry; and York Racecourse’s Head Groundsman, Adrian Kay, will all be making presentations, too.

In addition, there will be a special session on ‘A year in the life of the IOG Young Directors’.

The one-day Ahead of the Game programme is still being formalised, but it already promises to be an unmissable day for anyone and everyone involved in groundscare.

The event – hosted by talkSPORT Radio’s Mark Saggers – will be opened by Stuart Larman, Project Manager of Playing Surfaces at football’s international governing body, FIFA. He will be giving FIFA’s new natural turf fact sheets and manager guides for global best practice pitch maintenance their first public airing.

He will present an exclusive insight into the documents designed to educate senior and middle management on the key issues when investing in natural grass pitches, with the result that grounds maintenance teams receive sufficient recognition and support to enable them to do the best job possible.

The presentation will therefore appeal to everyone involved in football club boardrooms and management, as well as pitch maintenance, at clubs of every size.

Then there’s the session by Olympic Park Legacy Company Director, Mark Camley, who will illustrate how he is a fervent advocate on the industry working together to improve the status of parks.

Mark, a powerful green space leader, has recently contrasted the iconic status of the Olympic Park with the dire state of parks funding across the UK – and made a passionate call for the industry to work together to move parks up the political agenda.

His presentation at the IOG Conference promises to be enthralling.

Brickman Sports Turf’s Murray Cook will be making the trans-Atlantic trip to, for example:

• Review the current baseball venues under design and development in the UK;

• How planning new venues/sports pitches can include an option for baseball or softball; and

• Emphasise the need for more sports turf managers to understand the sport and how it relates to new opportunities.

Another unrivalled session!

Meanwhile, Frank Newberry’s highly motivational ‘Upgrading your influence’ session has been captivating audiences in different countries for a number of years – and at the IOG Conference he will discuss how delegates can increase their influence and impact on others, inside and outside their organisations.

More details of IOG Conference speakers will be released on the IOG website ( where you can book your seat at this unmissable event of the year and you can also make nominations for the 2012 IOG Industry Awards.


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