The Rugby World Cup is major, it’s officially the world’s 3rd biggest sporting event. DLF, who have supplied grass seed for the last two football World Cups, are a major supplier again for those clubs that decided to overseed.
This was the case with Leicester City FC where the King Power Stadium has been chosen to host matches. John Ledwidge is Head Groundsman and will have been at Leicester two years in January 2016. He has a team of 7 to support him and considers that sustainable for now. In addition to the main pitch, the team is responsible for the 7½ pitches at the training ground. John has historically used Johnsons J Premier Pitch everywhere he’s been. He says:
It’s tried and tested. I trust it to do what it says on the tin.
They sowed J Premier Pitch in the summer, bringing them on a month earlier than they normally would to make sure the surface is as strong as possible going into the schedule. Ledwidge says:
I’m hoping the weather will be fair to us, although with the pitch of a sand based Desso construction it is well versed if it rains and does drain relatively freely.
The main challenge will be to keep the plant strong, healthy and maintain grass cover. With football it is essential to ensure that the grass cover is good, but with rugby it is not quite so imperative because the ball isn’t played on the ground. DLF’s Roger Peacock is our area specialist and calls in from time to time to check everything is going okay and to admire our handiwork! It’s good just to have him there should you need any advice on the seed.
Ledwidge started in groundsmanship at the age of 13, doing voluntary work, and then into an apprenticeship at Coventry City FC. He became Deputy Head Groundsman there at the age of 19 and Head Groundsman at the age of 24.