The Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) changes its name to appeal more to women

By Alistair April 5, 2020 11:59 Updated

The Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) has changed its name to the Grounds Management Association partly because just one per cent of grounds professionals are female.

The new branding is also designed to make the industry more welcoming for younger people.

Research had found that a significant number of people thought the word ‘groundsmanship’ was a barrier to attracting new talent.

Votes were cast by the association’s members throughout March, with 84 per cent of those who voted supporting the new direction and name.

Research conducted by the organisation, including the 2019 report ‘Groundsmanship – Sport’s Vital Profession’, identified an ageing demographic within both the paid professional and voluntary sectors, and a lack of diversity within the existing profile.

The new name is part of a wider re-brand, including updated branding and the new tagline – ‘making sport possible’. The icon is inspired by pitch markings and intersecting grass patterns.

“This creates a unified mark symbolising teamwork and partnership with the different elements working together,” said a spokesman. “The organisation has decided to modernise, to widen the appeal and status of the profession.”

‘Groundsmanship – Sport’s Vital Profession’ found that 40 per cent of the industry’s workforce is over 50. One in five grounds managers will be leaving their jobs within the next five years and only one per cent of the current workforce is female. Furthermore, more than two thirds of community grounds volunteers are aged over 60 and almost all are over 50, making modernisation vital to attracting a new generation crucial for the future success of the industry.

Further research which looked at how the IOG was perceived, found that one in five thought the word ‘groundsmanship’ was a barrier to attracting new talent.

Geoff Webb, CEO of the Grounds Management Association, said: “Our board, senior team and members all know that the future success of the industry depends on us attracting more people from all backgrounds to the profession, which is why we’re so pleased to announce our new name and brand.

“Under the banner of the Grounds Management Association, we are ideally placed to promote the profession to the wider public, raise awareness of the vital work of grounds managers and staff and attract a new generation of grounds staff to the profession.

“The support of our members has been absolutely crucial, and now means we can meet the challenges and expectations we face to elevate the standing, status and value of our sector today. We’re excited to take this first step on our new journey and continue to support our members, who make sport possible.”

By Alistair April 5, 2020 11:59 Updated

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