GMA’s Young Board inspires the next generation with first post-pandemic Schools into Stadia event

During #GroundsWeek, the GMA’s Young Board of Directors held its first Schools into Stadia event since the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020. The event held at Lincoln City FC’s LNER Stadium, aims to inspire the next generation of grounds staff to enter the sector. The scheme forms part of the GMA’s 'Get into Grounds' strategy which looks to encourage GSCE-level students, school leavers and young people to consider a career in grounds management.

The GMA’s Young Board, with support of Lincoln City Foundation invited a group of local secondary school children to the home of the Imps to get a taste of what it’s like to be a grounds person, as well as learning more about the wide range of careers that can be pursued in the grounds care sector.

The youngsters were able gain valuable experience and try their hands at some of the day-to-day tasks of a grounds person, as well as developing a deeper understanding how subjects like Biology, Maths, and Geography are all important subjects and skills required to enter the grounds management industry.

The day was split in two, with one group doing a theory session where students were shown the basics of soil nutrition and sustainability before heading into the stadium to carry out a pitch assessment. Meanwhile, the other group carried out the practical session which included learning how pedestrian cylinder mowers, Verti-draining and the use of lighting rigs were important to pitch maintenance. The students also got to try their hands at line-marking the Lincoln City FC pitch.

After the success of the event, Brad Jeffries, Head Groundsman at Lincoln City FC and member of the GMA Young Board, said:

It was great to get the students thinking about grounds management in a fun, educational and hands-on way. It’s important we get more young people into the industry to ensure we can continue making sport possible in the future.”

Having spent the day learning about grounds management as a career, whilst testing their skills at some maintenance tasks, one student explained:

Grounds management interests me as a career because the grass looks great - it’s great to see how things behind the scenes work.

"I think my highlight was seeing how nutrients work – we got to see things that you don’t get to see from the outside and how much work goes into putting all of this on show.”

With the students asking the Young Board questions about their roles, School Teacher, Ally Thompson said:

I think events like this are really important because it’s been really informative and it’s let the kids engage in things that they might have been learning at school that they didn’t think were applicable in this kind of field.

Following the success of the event, the GMA Young Board, with support from Reesink Turfcare, are busy planning future events to inspire the next generation of grounds staff at other venues and locations across the UK.