Munster Groundsman Education Day
By John Harrington
The GAA's 2018 Munster Groundsman Education Day will take place in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday April, 7.
Attendees will hear from a number of key speakers over the course of the day, beginning with Course Director for Greenkeeping and Sportsturf management at Coláiste Stiofain Naofa, Daniel Crowley.
His presentation will focus on how best to develop a maintenance programme for your club's pitch.
Stephen Forrest will discuss the reconstruction and maintenance of the playing surface at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, while Donal Kelly and Brian O'Shaughnessy will give a demonstration on artificial pitch maintenance.
The Munster Groundsman Education Day is the latest initiative of the National Pitch Maintenance Workgroup, who last year established an Annual GAA Pitch Award.
Judged by Croke Park Pitch Manager, Stuart Wilson, and Dr Stephen Barker of the Sports Research Institute, Semple Stadium in Thurles was the inaugural winner.
"It was fascinating when we went down to Semple," Wilson told GAA.ie. "They put in a huge amount of effort and their pitch is in superb condition. You could see that it meant a lot to them, being part of it. They wanted to win it.
"To be fair to all of the Groundsmen, they put a lot of effort into it when we were coming and got the pitches in the best condition they could.
"Last year we definitely saw some improved standards around the country and you'd hope that would continue.
"Perhaps word didn't get out as well as it could have done to some of the grounds, but I think everyone is aware of it now. I'm looking forward to seeing the pitches in the championship.
"At this time of the year the grounds around the country are put under huge pressure Club matches going later and league starting earlier. Conditions have been really tough.
"If you see the odd pitch that's struggling a little bit it's probably not a lot to do with the Groundsman."
'Raising standards' is the motto of the National Pitch Maintenance Group. Any Groundsman who attends the Munster Education Day will surely be able to raise theirs.
Register for this event by contacting Mr. Kieran McGann, National Pitch Maintenance Workgroup. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call +353867773100