The Grounds Management Association (GMA), the leading not-for-profit membership body for grounds professionals, volunteers and businesses, has announced the return of #GroundsWeek in 2022, to be held once again in the first week of March (28th February – 6th March).
This year, GMA launched the inaugural #GroundsWeek – a campaign celebrating grounds management professionals and volunteers, and galvanising a new generation of grounds enthusiasts to help avoid a major skills gap. The integrated digital and media campaign reached over 135 million people, secured support from 1,193 organisations and individuals, and generated over 3,000 mentions of #GroundsWeek on social media.
Following the huge successes of the inaugural celebration week, GMA has confirmed that GroundsWeek will continue to celebrate and highlight the vital role professional grounds staff and volunteers play in making sport possible each year.
The research conducted by the GMA for #GroundsWeek 2021 showed the severe skills gap the sector was facing. Encouraging people to join the sector is vital, and while 32% of kids want to work in sport, the research found that only 5% understand vital but overlooked roles like grounds management.
This year’s focus was therefore about inspiring young people to enter the industry as a professional and encouraging sports fans everywhere to look at volunteering at their local grounds. Next year, the GMA will aim to build on this, highlighting the amazing community within grounds management and encouraging people from all walks of life to join the sector.
Geoff Webb, CEO of the GMA, said:
“We launched the first ever #GroundsWeek after a tough year, to raise the profile of our sector and show everyone within sport and beyond how important it is to ensure we can all take part in sport and physical activity.
“It’s safe to say that #GroundsWeek has been a huge success. We had teams, organisations, individuals, and sponsors coming together to cheer on grounds people everywhere. All the hard work that goes into sport behind the scenes was highlighted across the nation, and it was amazing to see so many get involved. We’re particularly grateful to our various sponsors who got involved this year in supporting our activity and we hope we can continue working with such fantastic businesses in 2022.
“By building on the success of our first #GroundsWeek, we want to make next year’s celebratory week even bigger and better than before.”