Ipswich-based Ransomes Jacobsen and Parkers Pitches of Woolpit back Suffolk FA Grassroots Pitch Programme

From left, Tim Parker, Nathan French, Karen Proctor and Will Parker at the launch of Suffolk FA's Gr

From left, Tim Parker, Nathan French, Karen Proctor and Will Parker at the launch of Suffolk FA's Grassroots Pitch Programme. - Credit: Archant

Turf maintenance equipment maker Ransomes Jacobsen is sponsoring the Suffolk FA’s Grassroots Pitch Programme, which aims to help clubs improve their playing surfaces.

The programme, also being supported by Parkers Pitches and the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG), offers clubs an advisory visit, and a contribution towards the cost of any improvement work recommended if the club decides to go ahead.

Suffolk FA football development manager Nathan French said: “I am delighted that the three partners involved have agreed to work with Suffolk FA on this exciting new programme.

“It is no secret that grass pitches need a lot of investment and hopefully through this new programme we will be able to support Suffolk clubs to improve their pitches.”

Karen Proctor, marketing and communications manager – international at Ipswich-based Ransomes Jacobsen, said: “We are proud to be involved in this initiative, as a local company it is important to us that we support such schemes.


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“The Suffolk County FA do a wonderful job and we look forward to continuing our relationship with them over the next season.”

Ransomes Jacobsen’s support of Suffolk FA follows on from its sponsorship of the Suffolk FA Premier Cup for the past two seasons.

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Tim Parker, who for the last 20 years has been ECB county pitch advisor for Suffolk, said: “It is a sad reflection that Premier League footballers earn more in a week than is invested in grassroots pitches around the county in a season.

“We want to educate the groundsmen by encouraging them to go on IOG courses to improve their knowledge and the database of what is available across the county in terms of machinery and maintenance products.

“Pitch renovation has really taken off in the last few years and it has become a business in order to service the demand.

Will Parker of Parkers Pitches, which is based at Woolpit, added: “We are sportsmen who enjoy playing sport and also watching it played, and we want to improve that from grassroots level upwards.

“We have a network of groundsmen in cricket and that works really well and improves standards, and this programme will definitely help the football clubs in Suffolk.”

Danny White, regional pitch advisor (east) for the IOG, said: “I am delighted to be working alongside Suffolk FA by providing a support role for this new and exciting initiative.

“I am pleased to be able to provide support via my role as regional pitch advisor for the East and hope that the clubs will embrace this idea.”

He added that a session for groundsmen at Portman Road is being planned for 2016, and hopes that this will attract clubs from all over Suffolk.

The programme will run separately to the Football Association’s nationwide Pitch Improvement Programme. Details of how to apply for the Suffolk FA Grassroots Pitch Programme are on the Suffolk FA website www.suffolkfa.com.

For further information: Please contact Nick Garnham, Marketing & Public Relations Officer, Suffolk FA on 01449 776380 or 07508 838181.

aAdvisor for Suffolk, said: “It is a sad reflection that Premier League footballers earn more in a week than is invested in grassroots pitches around the county in a season.

“We want to educate the groundsmen by encouraging them to go on IOG courses to improve their knowledge and the database of what is available across the county in terms of machinery and maintenance products.

“Pitch renovation has really taken off in the last few years and it has become a business in order to service the demand.

Will added: “We are sportsmen who enjoy playing sport and also watching it played, and we want to improve that from grassroots level upwards.

“We have a network of groundsmen in cricket and that works really well and improves standards, and this programme will definitely help the football clubs in Suffolk.”

Danny White, Regional Pitch Advisor (East) for the IOG, said: “I am delighted to be working alongside Suffolk FA by providing a support role for this new and exciting initiative.

“I am pleased to be able to provide support via my role as regional pitch advisor for the East and hope that the clubs will embrace this idea.”

He added that a session for groundsmen at Portman Road is being planned for 2016, and hopes that this will attract clubs from all over Suffolk.

The programme will run separately to the Football Association’s nationwide Pitch Improvement Programme.

Full details of how to apply for the Suffolk FA Grassroots Pitch Programme are on the Suffolk FA website www.suffolkfa.com

Ends

Photograph: Pictured at the launch, left to right, are Tim Parker, Nathan French, Karen Proctor and Will Parker

For further information: Please contact Nick Garnham, Marketing & Public Relations Officer, Suffolk FA on 01449 776380 or 07508 838181.

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