The Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) represents groundsmen and promotes the groundscare profession to ensure quality surfaces for sport, leisure, amenity and recreation.
A membership organisation representing the whole of the grounds-care industry and all those involved in it, the institute was founded in 1934 by W H Bowles BEM, head groundsman at Eton College when the first 11 founder members formed the National Association of Groundsmen, which became the IOG in 1969.
The original purpose of this institute - to improve the status of groundsmen and the standard of groundsmanship – are the same objectives that continue to direct the activities of the IOG to this day.
The first IOG exhibition was organised in 1938 and was the forerunner of today's IOG SALTEX - Sports, Amenities and Landscaping Trade Exhibition. This event is held annually at Windsor Racecourse during the first full week in September, and attracts local, regional, national and international patronage.
The institute’s journal the Groundsman was introduced in 1947 and is still a monthly benefit to members today. It is circulated to the amenity and sports industries, education and training establishments, local authorities and IOG members, serving an essential need for communication, education, turfcare and technical advice and examples of best practice.
In 2009, the IOG launched its annual Industry Awards (held concurrently with the Annual Conference) to recognise and salute groundscare skills, both within the volunteer and professional sectors, and to gain wider, public recognition for the industry’s expertise.
The institute's education programme has evolved since its inception in 1953, and now caters for hundreds of students each year at national training venues and through our iCampus online portal, as well as work-based learning through our apprenticeship scheme - offering initial groundscare training through to management expertise. Our wide range of industry-specific qualifications are endorsed by the national governing bodies of sport, and are recognised by the City & Guilds awarding body.
The IOG Turfcare Advisory Service, introduced in 1990, now advises organisations worldwide on the development and management of sports and amenity facilities.
Sharing the IOG’s vision for the future of groundsmanship, our recently appointed Young Board of Directors have adopted the slogan ‘Our Career, Your Future’ in their quest to share their enthusiasm for their groundscare roles and encourage more young people into the industry.
Graham Kimpton interrupted his preparations for this month's AEGON Championships at The Queens Club to talk to Colin Hoskins about his role as Grounds Manager at the venue revered by some of the world's leading tennis players
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