The British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) has unveiled its programme of education for January 2021, with members offered access to BIGGA’s world-renowned Continue to Learn via an entirely-online platform for the first time ever.
With the cancellation of BTME 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the continued use of the Harrogate Convention Centre as an NHS Nightingale Hospital, BIGGA’s Learning & Development team, alongside lead supporter The R&A, has put together an incredible two weeks of online learning, available to members of the sports turf profession wherever in the world they may be based.
Continue to Learn 2021 is testament to BIGGA’s commitment to enabling members of the association to continue their professional development despite the difficult global situation that has had a negative impact on the lives of so many.
The education programme will be split into two distinct sections, with Continue to Learn: Conference taking place from 19 to 21 January 2021 and Continue to Learn: Classes being held from 25 to 29 January 2021.
The Conference will feature three days of sessions on a wide variety of topics relating to all things turf management and professional development. Among the keynote speakers will be Dr Frank Rossi of Cornell University and world-renowned golf architect Augustin Pizá of Pizá Golf.
The 24 Classes being offered by the association will enable BIGGA members to focus on an individual topic of interest with a wide range on offer, from developing personal confidence to the control of leatherjackets and other pests or the writing of reports and proposals.
For full details of the education programme, which include more information about speakers and a special Golf Course 2030 session that will be taking place during the event, head to the BIGGA website, www.bigga.org.uk
Continue to Learn usually takes place in the week of BTME, beginning the Sunday before the trade exhibition and featuring a range of workshops, seminars and major conference events. With 3,000 delegates attending the education programme in a normal year, Continue to Learn is hugely influential in shaping the direction and future of the golf greenkeeping and wider golf industry.
Continue to Learn 2021 follows a summer of online learning opportunities provided by the association, with the regular Continue to Learn Extra webinar series held since the start of the first Full Lockdown in March and featuring guest speakers who count among the most influential names in the industry.
Turf professionals have also been able to access most of this learning in an audio format via the Green Room Golf Course Podcast, hosted by BIGGA and available on most podcast platforms, while BIGGA’s website also provides a vast library of exclusive learning opportunities.
In November, BIGGA hosted its first entirely online education event, called the National Regional Conference, which brought together the association’s regular regional conference sessions into a single day of learning. The event was widely praised and gave encouragement to BIGGA’s Learning & Development team that they could pull of an event as ambitious in scale as Continue to Learn 2021.
Registration for the programme is on three levels – individual, team or group – and BIGGA hopes that members utilise the excellent discounts on offer by clubbing together with their peers. For example, a group of 10 greenkeepers can experience the entire conference and have access to all of the content online for three months for less than £100 per person.
BIGGA’s Head of Learning & Development, Sami Strutt, has been involved with the organisation of the Continue to Learn education programme every year since 1994, taking up the management and delivery of the event in 2009.
Sami said: “After what has been for many the toughest year in living memory, the team at BIGGA was unwavering in its commitment to provide our members with an event that instils hope that things will soon get better and so I’m delighted that we’re able to present this extraordinary programme of online learning in January. With fewer job opportunities and increased pressure on greenkeeping teams to present golf courses in excellent condition following the surge in popularity experienced by golf this year, Continuing Professional Development has never been more important for greenkeeping teams, given they are responsible for the presentation of a golf club’s most important asset, the course itself.
“My immense gratitude goes to our headline supporter, The R&A, for their backing of this project and my thanks go out to all the speakers who have taken time out of their own lives to offer these learning opportunities for our members. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everybody’s lives, but events such as Continue to Learn are a reminder of what an incredible, close-knit community this is. I’m excited to meet you online via our virtual conference platform and hope to see you all there.”
For more information about Continue to Learn 2021, head to the BIGGA website, www.bigga.org.uk If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact the BIGGA Learning & Development team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (01347) 666 580.