THE new Gloucestershire Groundsman’s Association (GGA) will be officially launched at a special event at the Bristol Pavilion on January 29.
The evening - which starts at 7pm - will include a talk from grass specialist Matt Gresty, an AGM and the presentation of the Gloucestershire Groundsman of the Year Award.
There will also be a free bar and buffet and a chance for groundsmen to discuss what they want from the new association.
The GGA is sponsored by the Gloucestershire Cricket Board's (GCB) new club development sponsor Total Play and representatives from the pitch and groundwork equipment specialists will be present on the night.
GCB chief executive Steve Silk said: “It is fantastic that we now have an association that is able to support and develop our groundsmen in Gloucestershire.
The GGA will play a key role in giving our groundsmen the advice and skills they need to improve the quality of the county’s playing facilities. This in turn will help improve the quality of cricket played throughout Gloucestershire.
“We are delighted to welcome Total Play on board as our sponsor. Their reputation in providing pitches and ground equipment is second to none and their expertise will be of huge benefit to our clubs and groundsmen.”
The GGA will be led by chairman Martin Ford, who brings a wealth of experience from his role as fine turf manager for the ECB.
Frenchay’s Sue Brees, who is also minutes secretary on the GCB Youth League and Performance Development Group, has accepted the role of secretary.
The new association will look to up-skill groundsmen by offering regular workshops throughout the year.
These will include the chance to observe Gloucestershire’s grounds staff on match days at both the County Ground in Bristol and Cheltenham College.
They will also seek to offer Gloucestershire clubs the best deals possible on a range of commonly used ground equipment and materials from loam and seed to machinery and sheeting.
The GGA will also work with clubs who receive poor marks for their pitches in league cricket in order to help them improve.
The association will also deal with requests for the ECB trailer that can be hired to help clubs with their autumn renovation work.
Gloucestershire pitch advisor Jason Hobbs, who carries out the work, will be in attendance on January 29 to discuss what he can do for clubs.
Representatives from leading cricket equipment companies Stuart Canvas, Bola and Countrywide will also be on hand to talk to clubs about their products on the night.
Silk said: “It should be a really valuable evening and I would urge all of our clubs to make sure that they attend. It is not just for groundsmen, we also want clubs to send other officers and committee members along.
"Improving facilities at our clubs and schools is fundamental to developing cricket in Gloucestershire.”
If you wish to attend the GGA launch on January 29 please email Steve Silk at firstname.lastname@example.org by January 24.