FEGGA recently went on the Road with the Bulgarian Greenkeepers Association in supporting education for their Groundsman members. The tour took place within areas of England, with six Groundsman visiting and spending time with some of the leading grounsdman professionals within the football industry. This very much follows a trend that FEGGA have engaged in with supporting their Members.
The tour began at St Georges park, home of the English Football Association, and also home for the very experienced Alan Ferguson, a veteran in the world of Football pitch management. Alan was so gracious in the time he gave to the visiting Bulgarians, sharing his vast knowledge and experience, and sending them away with much to take home with them.
The Study Tour was made possible with the support of two of FEGGA’s Patrons, Dennis Sisis and Campey Turfcare. It was therefore also very beneficial for the group to visit both of their respected facilities, and to see how they operate and provide the excellent commitment and support to their customers, and serve the many sports they currently engage in. Dennis Sisis have a long history in manufacturing, and when visiting you can see this, but also you see how they are integrating this tradition with modern machining and paint plant technology, allowing them to maintain and build on the equipment they manufacture.
It was then onto the visit to Campey Turfcare. There is an excellent relationship that exists between these two companies, and Richard Campey, the founder of Campey Turfcare is an ex-employee of Sisis, and obviously built his business of much of the philosophy that he grew up with. Campey Turfcare have over the years been very innovating in building their brand, and using the vast amount of experience that exists when it comes to maintaining and renovating turf surfaces. They have worked very hard in developing turf systems that offer very successful end results turf technology.
The next two days of the Study Tour saw the group visiting Derby County football stadium, and seeing the pitch following the recent renovation programme in readiness for the new season. They also took on a visit to Leicester City’s training facility, who had also just completed renovations on many of the training pitches, and to see how they are committed to ensuring that stadium and training pitches mirror each other in pitch performance, and ensuring players, and teams get the opportunity to maximise their performances too.
Wednesday, saw the group visit the training facilities of Bury Football club, and although Bury play in slightly lower football league their commitment to turf maintenance and results were clear to see, and also the knowledge that the Grounds crew were willing to share with the group.
Finally It was off to Leigh Sports Village, close to Manchester, and a very different set-up, but again showing excellent examples of turf maintenance performances for multi teams to benefit from in their pursuit of the game of football, and other sporting activities.
In all the visits that were done, one thing that also had common place was the commitment they all made to encouraging and supporting grass roots football, kids benefiting and enjoying the game, and dreaming what could be, if only for a short time.
The six Groundsman, that came over from Bulgaria thoroughly enjoyed their experiences, and took a huge bank of knowledge back with them, and also were inspired by the great people they had been lucky enough to spend time with over the three educational days.
FEGGA and the BGGA thank both Dennis Sisis and Campey Turfcare, for making this Study Tour possible, and enabling their pursuit of offering education to their Members.
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