The annual conference of the Federation of European Golf Greenkeepers’ Association in the Algarve was a special occasion with FEGGA celebrating its 10th anniversary. Eighty delegates attended from 33 organisations, representing some 23 countries.
A main focus for FEGGA has been to offer the possibility for the newly developing golfing countries to come under the umbrella of FEGGA. It is seen as very important that these countries are offered support to assist them as they grow. FEGGA officials were delighted that Poland, Estonia and Croatia took advantage of the opportunity to attend the conference and to participate in the many discussions covering subjects that are affecting golf on a European level.
Two of the main subjects covered were Education and Environment. From an education standpoint, presentations were delivered by Elmwood College, the Slovenian Greenkeepers Association and FEGGA on looking to create a European model for the standardisation of formal Greenkeeping qualifications. Following much discussion all associations agreed to allow FEGGA to drive this initiative forward for the benefit of all greenkeepers throughout Europe.
Dean Cleaver, FEGGA executive officer, commented, “FEGGA has made great progress during the past four years, working with and assisting greenkeeping associations to establish formal education programmes. The time is now right for FEGGA to move forward in creating a European set of standards which will greatly enhance the Greenkeeping profession within Europe”.
FEGGA also launched a new greenkeeping scholarship programme in partnership with Polaris World and Ransomes Jacobsen that will take place in Spain. The scholarship will be a one year practically based programme with a very well structured education syllabus tied into it. This opportunity will allow greenkeepers to experience many different aspects of golf course management and to help develop them into potentially first class golf course managers. FEGGA will look to take four greenkeepers onto the programme starting in June this year. FEGGA will now accept applications from interested candidates and this can be done either through national greenkeepers association or directly with Dean Cleaver, Executive Officer of FEGGA on Int. +44 (0)1789 762912 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org Further details can be found on the FEGGA website; www.fegga.org
On environmental issues Jonathan Smith, executive officer of Commitment to Green Foundation, presented a three hour workshop focusing on the need for developing good strategies in dealing with the environmental demands that face golf.
All associations agreed that by the end of 2006 each one of them will have adopted their own Environmental Policy Statement. This will send a clear message to the world of golf on the positive attitude coming from greenkeepers and their associations in setting high standards and directives and ensuring good environmental stewardship on our golf courses.
“One important aspect of the conference is bringing people and countries together and again it provided a wonderful family atmosphere which always leaves a lasting impression,” said Dean Cleaver. “This year was no different and the Portuguese did a wonderful job in allowing all the delegates to experience a little piece of Portuguese culture. I am sure that everyone left the conference with both a sense of achievement in the goals and incentives that together they had set for FEGGA for the coming year and also that they had further strengthened the FEGGA family.”