MAINTAINING THE TRUE GrassROOTS OF FOOTBALL
Improving Essex Surfaces So You Can Enjoy the Game
In the annual Grassroots Football Survey, our stakeholders regularly highlight the need to focus on the quality of playing surfaces if we are to continue to develop players and ensure the game remains enjoyable to all.
It is for these reasons that grass pitch improvement is one of the key performance targets in the FA National Game Strategy and our 2018-21 and 2021-24 Moving Forward Strategies.
The FA Facilities & Investment Team have been working in partnership with the Grounds Management Association (GMA) to develop a Grass Pitch Improvement Strategy. As part of this they have developed a digital assessment tool, Pitch Power, which can be used on a laptop or mobile
It allows pitch operators to complete their own testing on their pitches and, after submitting, you'll then get a detailed assessment report from the grounds management experts at the GMA with recommendations on improving the quality of your grass pitches.
Many clubs and organisations are already using the tool across the county. If you’d like to sign-up, or for more information, follow this link.
Funding Opportunities Beyond Your Pitch Power Report
The Pitch Power Report will provide a series of recommendations to improve the pitch's quality.
Depending on its scoring against the pitch quality framework, there is the potential to explore funding for increased maintenance through the Football Foundation’s Grass Pitch Maintenance Fund. More details can be found here. This is a game-changing opportunity and, for the first time ever, sites can get access to the funding they need in order to improve their pitches.
Depending on what is detailed in the machinery recommendations of your Pitch Power Report, you could also be eligible for funding towards new or upgraded machinery to help with your ongoing maintenance. Visit our 'Football Foundation Grants' section for more information on this.
The Football Foundation have launched a free new ‘Groundskeeping Community’ as the first of several support tools to help ground staff meet their grass pitch improvement targets.
The website has been developed in partnership with The FA and the Grounds Management Association to support volunteers and qualified groundskeepers to maintain pitches. It features a welcome message from Karl Standley, Head Groundsman at Wembley Stadium, and the collaborative space will: build knowledge of key operations for pitch maintenance throughout the year; connect with fellow groundskeepers and share experiences; seek expert advice on getting the most from the pitches groundskeepers manage.
A groundsmanship website has been designed as a training resource which will support volunteers who are preparing their sports pitches.
Featuring written content, short videos and easy-to-digest seasonal guides, the Grounds Management Association’s (GMA) online ‘Grounds Management Toolkit’ helps ground staff and the general public understand how to prepare pitches for players across the community. The toolkit is backed by Sport England.