GMA launches first-ever non-English language course

SCB Course

The Grounds Management Association (GMA) has officially launched its first training course written in Serbo-Croat-Bosnian, Nivo 1 Održavanje Fudbalskih Terena (Level 1 Maintenance of Football Pitches).

The online training course is a direct translation of the existing GMA course and whilst it focusses on football, it allows participants to gain an awareness and general understanding of the tasks involved in maintaining playing surfaces.

The course was created after the GMA’s Technical and Learning team identified a need for formal training courses bespoke to countries in this part of the world.

“In 2019, I was invited to participate in a turf-based educational seminar in Sarajevo, where, along with delegates from Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia, we discussed the grounds industry in Europe,” said Bojan Jovanović, Online Tutor at the GMA.

“As a result, I discussed the possibility of supporting these countries with our Head of Technical and Learning, Dan Prest. Dan was part of a pitch maintenance project in Kosovo and was keen to understand how the grounds industry was developing in former Yugoslavia.”

Bojan hopes that young people, volunteers, and professionals who participate in the online training course will also develop a better understanding of recognised turf maintenance practices.

“Being originally from Serbia, I have had many opportunities over the years to talk to fellow grounds people about career opportunities and education in the industry, to try and understand what could be done to improve both playing surfaces in the nations and the educational opportunities available.”

After two years of in-depth research and discussion, work started on producing the course at the beginning of 2022.

“It was a great pleasure and privilege to be part of this project,” said Bojan. I hope this course will inspire and encourage further development and learning of the modern ground person’s role in the regions to help produce safe, sustainable, and fit-for-purpose playing surfaces.”

Hopefully, this will inspire lifelong learning for other nations, improving both the knowledge and confidence of the people that maintain the playing surfaces. - Dan Prest, Head of Technical and Learning at the GMA.

The Level 1 course has gone through rigorous trials and tests receiving extremely positive feedback from three individuals native to the nations,

“I am very impressed with what the Technical and Learning team at the GMA have achieved here,” said Stefan Dičić, Stadium and Technical Maintenance Manager at Red Star Belgrade.

“Having successfully completed the course during the testing process, I believe my team and I will be able to produce better results especially greater safety, field presentation, and machinery maintenance. It is always good to renew the theory behind pitch maintenance and then to apply it on the pitch.”

The course is suitable for volunteers or new employees to develop skills and learn the latest best practices.

“Having already run numerous training sessions in Europe on behalf of European and international football authorities, we recognised that whilst immediate short, sharp face-to-face training sessions are invaluable, there was very little ongoing support in many regions,” said Dan Prest, the Head of Technical and Learning at the GMA.

“Online training courses can provide a source of long-lasting information. Therefore, with the help of Bojan, we decided to translate an existing course into Serbo-Croat-Bosnian.”

A project of this size takes careful consideration, planning, and research, and is something that Dan is fond of.

“I am very proud of what the GMA has achieved here,” said Dan.

“I am always keen to see people develop. Hopefully, this will inspire lifelong learning for other nations, improving both the knowledge and confidence of the people that maintain the playing surfaces. Now we have launched this fantastic course, the possibilities are endless.”

The course is available to purchase online here.

Čitajte na srpsko-hrvatsko-bosanskom jeziku

About the course

This online training course is a direct translation of the existing course in English.

Although this course is written in Serbo-Croat-Bosnian, it will also support learning in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia.

For any enquiries, please contact