The IOG has delivered an IOG Level 1 Winter Pitches training course to 13 delegates in Finland, which is the first of a package of grounds management courses due to take place in the country, in the coming months.
Fulfilling a request from Vierumaki, the Sports Institute of Finland, and the Finnish FA, the initial IOG course was also supported by IOG Award winner and head groundsman at Headingley Stadium – Ryan Golding, who helped to demonstrate winter pitch maintenance techniques to Finnish grounds staff working at professional sports clubs and municipal sports facilities.
One delegate also made the trip from Iceland. Kristinn Johannsson, head groundsman at the Laugardalsvöllur, (home of Iceland’s national football team) said: “It was really nice to meet the Finnish groundsmen. The course was very good, I learned few new things, and got to review current skills too. You can always learn more with site visits and courses like this, and by speaking to people in the same industry with the same or more experience than you. Sharing information and learning new things is very valuable for all of us.“
Mika Nurminen, lead contact for the course in Finland said: “It’s important to update the level of groundsmanship expertise in Finland to help our grounds staff get a deeper understanding of the work at hand. We really appreciated the possibility to co-operate with IOG to fulfil our dream to create and maintain better sports pitches.”
Dan Prest, IOG head of technical and learning, and the course lead in Finland said: “The opportunity for ground staff to get together, wherever in the world, is vital for development and improving playing surfaces. Regardless of professional or volunteer, the sharing of information through training is beneficial to the industry.”