The Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) has called an extraordinary general meeting, where members will vote on a resolution to change the organisation’s name to Grounds Management Association.
All IOG members have been invited to cast their vote on the matter, with a final decision being based on the membership’s vote.
According to IOG chief executive Geoff Webb, the proposed rebrand and renaming follows research around attitudes towards the existing IOG name and identity. Webb said the research had revealed “real concerns”.
“We found that the profession is not seen as inclusive – it is the domain of ‘older white males’,” he said. “There is also a feeling that no one is standing up for our profession and the skilled nature of the work – and that grounds management is not seen as an important part of sport. The research also showed that there is a lack of understanding of the skills needed for groundsmanship and that the profession has little appeal to young people.
“Worryingly, the name is seen as old fashioned and as adding to an outdated image.”
Webb added that a rebrand would help the organisation achieve the “need for change” uncovered by the research.
“We firmly believe that now and, in the future, the recommendation to change our name will enable us to appeal to a wider and more diverse membership and wider audience,” Webb said in a statement, which was also signed by chair David Carpenter.
“From discussion with stakeholders, we know that the change recommended will also attract more inward investment, partnerships and support.” The EGM, which will decide whether the rebrand will take place, will be held on 2 April 2020.