Members of the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) Young Board of Directors recently joined members of Liverpool FC’s grounds team in encouraging youngsters to ‘Get into Grounds’ at Anfield Stadium.
The IOG’s ‘Schools into Stadia’ initiative introduces schoolchildren to the art of groundsmanship through a series of one-day workshops, showcasing the profession as an ideal opportunity to work in an outdoor environment within sport.
Pupils from three local high schools – North Liverpool Academy, Alsop High School and Notre Dame Catholic College – were invited to Anfield through the club’s Red Neighbours scheme. The children covered all aspects of a grounds person’s role, including maintenance and use of equipment, as well as pitch construction, maintenance and match-day procedure.
Liverpool FC grounds staff and the IOG group, alongside a representative from Myerscough College, also provided practical advice on how to pursue a career in the industry and explained the link between groundsmanship and academic subjects such as biology, maths, geography and technology.
David Roberts, the club’s grounds manager, said: “We’re really pleased to be able to showcase our profession to the students and give them a real insight into what it means to be part of a grounds team.”
Geoff Webb, IOG CEO, added: “Liverpool FC is an iconic club and the standard of sports turf at both the stadium and training grounds is world class.
“The IOG is helping local students, aged 14 to 15, to better understand the many facets of grounds management and encouraging young people to consider a rewarding career in groundsmanship.
“Schools into Stadia is aimed at GSCE-level students by taking the principles of sports turf management and linking it to the school curriculum. It’s a great initiative and we thank Liverpool FC for hosting this event and helping to showcase careers in groundsmanship.”
All aged under 30, the IOG’s Young Board of Directors are leading the Institute’s ‘Get into Grounds’ strategy by volunteering their time to encourage 14-16 year olds, school leavers and young people to consider a career in groundsmanship. Many of the Young Board are former winners of IOG Industry Awards and are educated from NVQ Level 3 to degree level. Most entered the industry by volunteering at local sports clubs (some as apprentices) and now work as full-time groundsmen at top sporting venues, independent schools and family-owned turf management businesses.