Grounds and Pitch Management
Whether your club is lucky enough to have its own facilities or you hire from the local council, you might be thinking about developing new pitches or maybe upgrading the ones you’ve already got in order to grow your club or increase the amount of usage the pitch can take.
The Institute of Groundmanship is a professional organisation for grounds management. It delivers training opportunities, conference and award programmes across the UK. It also offers its members guidance on employment issues such as health and safety.
For eligible projects around pitch drainage or new pitches/playing areas, funders may require a conditions survey to be undertaken on the land in question prior to any application being submitted (sometimes called a Performance Quality Standard, or PQS). This is an independent conditions report that is carried out by an accredited consultant, under the banner of the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG). The PQS will detail the current condition of the parcel of land in question. It will also suggest the nature of the problem(s), as well as the type and approximate cost of remedial works. In terms of Sport Wales investment, it is only after this stage can a better steer be given to the applicant around a potential application. For more information on this, please contact Ceri Richards (Sport Wales) on 029 20338246.
In general, maintenance is a key issue for clubs, especially those using natural turf or artificial turf. Bear in mind that some funders including Sport Wales, do not fund any expenditure relating to maintenance or upkeep. As such, clubs should ensure they have appropriate funds to pay for annual maintenance, which could be undertaken as a combination between suitably trained club volunteers and external contractors.
However, Grounds Maintenance courses for club volunteers are eligible for Sport Wales Community Chest funding. If you have any members interested in attending a course, you can apply via this link. Recommended courses are run by the Institute of Groundsmanship (www.iog.org)
- Sport England has also produced a handy pitch and court size comparator booklet which will give you guidelines on what age groups need what pitch sizes in a variety of sports.
- The chances of being affected by floods may be low but the impact on your club could be massive. Sport England has worked with several National Governing Bodies to produce a set of information sheets that can help you plan for the risk of floods if applicable to your club.
- Alternatively, email the Sport Wales grants team who will be able to guide you further.