Suffolk FA Grassroots Pitch Improvement Programme
SUFFOLK FA have teamed up with Ransomes Jacobsen Ltd, Parkers Pitches and the Institute of Groundsmanship to launch a new grassroots pitch improvement programme.
The Suffolk FA Grassroots Pitch Programme, sponsored by Ipswich-based Ransomes Jacobsen Ltd, will give football clubs in Suffolk the opportunity to improve their playing surfaces.
The programme will enable clubs to undergo an advisory site visit which will be carried out by Suffolk-based sports turf management company Parkers Pitches.
The first 20 clubs to sign up will receive a sponsored 60-90 minute advisory site visit from Parkers Pitches. If the club decide to carry out any of the work recommended by Parkers Pitches, the club will receive a contribution towards the cost through Ransomes Jacobsen’s sponsorship, with the club paying the rest.
Suffolk FA Football Development Manager Nathan French said: “I am delighted that the three partners involved have agreed to work with Suffolk FA on this exciting new programme. It is no secret that grass pitches need a lot of investment and hopefully through this new programme we will be able to support Suffolk clubs to improve their pitches.”
Karen Proctor, Marketing and Communications Manager – International at Ransomes Jacobsen, said: “We are proud to be involved in this initiative, as a local company it is important to us that we support such schemes. The Suffolk County FA do a wonderful job and we look forward to continuing our relationship with them over the next season.”
Ransomes Jacobsen’s support of Suffolk FA follows on from their sponsorship of the Suffolk FA Premier Cup for the past two seasons.
Tim Parker, who for the last 20 years has been ECB County Pitch Advisor for Suffolk, said: “It is a sad reflection that Premier League footballers earn more in a week than is invested in grassroots pitches around the county in a season. We want to educate the groundsmen by encouraging them to go on IOG courses to improve their knowledge and the database of what is available across the county in terms of machinery and maintenance products. Pitch renovation has really taken off in the last few years and it has become a business in order to service the demand."
Will added: “We are sportsmen who enjoy playing sport and also watching it played, and we want to improve that from grassroots level upwards. We have a network of groundsmen in cricket and that works really well and improves standards, and this programme will definitely help the football clubs in Suffolk.”
Danny White, Regional Pitch Advisor (East) for the IOG, said: “I am delighted to be working alongside Suffolk FA by providing a support role for this new and exciting initiative. I am pleased to be able to provide support via my role as regional pitch advisor for the East and hope that the clubs will embrace this idea.” He added that a session for groundsmen at Portman Road is being planned for 2016, and hopes that this will attract clubs from all over Suffolk.
The programme will run separately to the Football Association’s nationwide Pitch Improvement Programme.Full details of how to apply for the Suffolk FA Grassroots Pitch Programme are on the Suffolk FA website