Highlights, experiences & more.
Behind inspiring venues, are inspiring people. This year we had the privilege to host our Masterclass 2022 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and the brand new Leicester City Training Ground; venues that are developed based on the ideas of true game changers who not only dare to dream big, but also put their hearts and souls into making it happen.
A retractable natural grass pitch that slides underneath the stands and is kept alive for 14 days in a car park would have been unimaginable 10 years ago. However, Darren Baldwin and Wayne Billing showed our 120 guest from 17 countries that nothing is impossible. Two fully integrated lighting systems were specifically designed for the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, to make this happen. Besides being at the forefront of making this idea come to life, Wayne and Darren also showed that it’s all about using the technology in the right way, based on data and experience and a lot of hard work, to make for an outstanding playing surface. And that is exactly what they have done.
A little over 100 kilometres north of London, something else happened. Within the development of the brand new Leicester City Training Ground, John Ledwidge came up with the idea of the Turf Grass Academy. A place to help the industry foreward, by developing talent, helping out grass roots clubs and doing trials and research throughout. Again a first in the sports industry, created by the mind of a passionate grounds manager. Not to forget, it is located on one of the most impressive training grounds to date, maintained with incredible attention to detail. Such an impressive combination, that takes Leicester City to the forefront of sports turf development.
We would like to infinitely thank the Tottenham Hotspur ground staff and Leicester City ground staff, and in particular Wayne Billing, Darren Baldwin & John Ledwidge, for being an example to the industry and making the Masterclass 2022 an event that will remembered for a very long time.
“The event was extremely well organised at great venues, nothing I didn’t enjoy about the whole event.”
“It is always special to come to the Masterclass and see everyone from the industry again. The organisation and locations were of a world class level and exceeded my expectations.”
“An unforgettable and highly informative experience, both from SGL and our hosts from Tottenham and Leicester, who showed us around their wonderful facilities. A fairly tight programme, interesting topics, interactive workshops and knowledgeable guests showed me (and probably everyone) examples of good practice, which we will undoubtedly try to implement in our own, admittedly much smaller, environment. I have nothing but words of praise for all those who did their utmost to ensure that the event was delivered to such a high standard.”
“We (from AZ Alkmaar) were happy to be back at the Masterclass after a few years and we gained a lot of new ideas during the event. We especially enjoyed sharing our experiences with the greenkeepers of the other clubs. All in all, superbly organised.”
“First and foremost, an excellent atmosphere to meet our colleagues from around the world. It was an extraordinary experience, with really interesting presentations, made by qualified speakers. The visits to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Leicester City Training Ground were amazing.”
“From my perspective, it couldn’t possibly have been organised any better, given the location of the two sites. I liked the tours the most, but I did enjoy the chance to get to chat so many likeminded individuals. I thoroughly enjoy myself and would recommend it to anyone in the industry.”
“What an opportunity it was to be able to see some of the most unique facilities in the world. I found the Masterclass to be a great experience that brought together turf managers from across the globe to discuss and exchange ideas on the difficult challenges we all face.”
“It was a fantastic experience to participate in my first Masterclass. I gained a lot of information and impressions through transparency of the Tottenham Hotspur team, including the stadium tour. This also applies to the very impressive training ground of Leicester City. During the tour, they were very transparent and showed us everything. It was good to be together with so many groundsmen and to learn from each other. Everything went very smoothly during the event. Thank you SGL, for the great experience!”
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