Episode 72

PITCH PERFECT with Jason Booth

Jason Booth made the move from aspiring professional cricketer to grounds management.

He is now Chief Operating Officer of the Grounds Management Association (GMA) and has responsibility for the Pitch Advisory Service (PAS), funded by Sport England, with the aim of achieving continual improvement in the playing surfaces at an estimated 75,000 grounds used for recreational and community sport.

Since its formation in 2014, Jason says that the PAS has collected extensive data on the quality of pitches used across recreational sports and that almost 90% of those surveyed have shown improvement - and this has resulted in increased available funding.

The podcast is 45 minutes and includes

(01:55) From professional cricketer to grounds management

(05:05) PAS origins and role

(10:38) Changing sport participation and engaging volunteers

(15:50) Access to PAS resources

(21:02) Benchmarking pitch standards

(25:55) Disruptions from weather, vandalism or pitch quality

(30:30) Impact of Covid on recreational sport

(34:26) Perception of grounds staff and career path

LINKS

Pitch Advisory Service

Grounds Management Association

Sport England

About the Podcast

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Inside AgriTurf
The farm and grass machinery business

About your host

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Chris Biddle

Chris is an experienced journalist specialising in the farm and grass machinery market. He has worked for a major tractor manufacturer and been a managing director of a farm and grass machinery dealership in the West Country.
In 1988, he launched trade magazine, Service Dealer followed by TurfPro in 1998, selling both titles to Land Power Publications in 2015.
He was editor of Landwards, the professional journal of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) from 2008 until 2019 and is the recipient of the 2020 IAgrE Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Land-Based industry.
Chris lives in Salisbury with his wife Trish, and is an avid cricket fan and member of the MCC for over 55 years.