To highlight the vital role groundspeople play in sport

The IOG say they are planning for the launch of what they describe as a "bold new communications programme", designed to educate the public and media about the important role groundstaff play in improving user experiences and making sport possible across the country.

Responding to the findings of recent independent research commissioned by themselves into the views of the sector, the IOG say the three-year programme will also give natural turf a much needed boost by highlighting what is possible with the right expertise and tools in place.

The Institute hope the campaign will inspire a new generation of trained professional and volunteer groundspeople, demonstrate the difference groundstaff make raising the profile and status of the sector, and raise funds to invest into the maintenance and provision of natural turf grounds.

Working with behaviour-change and communication experts, Stand Agency, the IOG is currently developing the first phase of the campaign which will see a range of groundstaff featured in the national and regional media to educate new audiences about the role. At the same time, a consultation will be held to inform the second phase of work which will address out of date perceptions of groundstaff and the IOG itself.

Commenting on the campaign, Geoff Webb, IOG CEO, said, "The IOG’s upcoming campaign will give natural turf sports provision the reboot it needs and address out of date perceptions about our sector. It is time to build on what members have told us and ensure those outside our industry understand what we do and why it is so vital. Not only will this drive investment in natural turf provision and encourage more people to play sport, but it will also attract new talent to join the sector.”

Laura Oliphant, founder and managing director at Stand Agency said, “Encouraging active communities is one of the most important ways to address our health and obesity crisis, but we are not investing in our local grounds to make this possible. By using the skills and experience of IOG members, we want to challenge perceptions around the cost and maintenance of turf, whilst encouraging new talent to consider this rewarding career.”

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