The BTME Breakfast Club 2018: Tottenham's top man
Posted on Wednesday, 3rd January 2018
They’re at the top of their game, and on Wednesday 24 January four of the UK’s leading names in the turf management industry will come together to discussions the challenges they face in their respective sports.
With tales from throughout their stellar careers, everyone who attends is sure to take something away from the event.
There’s no better way to start your BTME day.
The BTME Breakfast Club 2018: Cutting Edge Turf Management
Wednesday 24 January, 8.30-9.30am, The Royal Hall, Harrogate Convention Centre, HG1 5LA
Hosted by Naga Munchetty
Darren Baldwin, head of playing surfaces and estates, Tottenham Hotspur FC
Keith Kent, head groundsman, Rugby Football Union, Twickenham Stadium
Stuart Kerrison, head groundsman, Essex Cricket
Kenny Mackay, director of courses and grounds, The Wentworth Club
When Tottenham Hotspur’s brand new 61,500-seater stadium is unveiled ahead of the 2018-19 football season, Darren Baldwin will be responsible for a completely retractable grass field that can be removed to reveal an artificial surface underneath, to be used for NFL games and other entertainment events.
Are you looking forward to BTME?
I’ve always worked in football and after spending six years at Arsenal, I made the switch to Tottenham - I was one of the less-publicised summer signings of 1996. But that whole time I’ve tried to get to BTME as much as possible as it’s a great show and it’s perfect timing for us as it’s a good time to start opening negotiations with different suppliers. It’s always good to see what’s new machinery-wise and it gets us switched on to thinking about renovations. We renovate every single pitch at the training ground, 20 pitches, in April, so January is the perfect time to talk to our suppliers.
On the social side, it’s great to catch up with industry colleagues. All the guys in London are a pretty close group across all the sports and BTME is a great opportunity to meet up with the northern guys.
What do you like about speaking at conferences?
It’s nice to tell the stories and share knowledge. I don’t claim to know everything about what I do, so it’s great to have interaction when you’re speaking. It’s great to give something back to the industry which has been very good to me and given me a great career and a good life in professional sport, so it’s only right that we give back and share our knowledge and experiences.
What is the value of education?
College courses are fantastic, but I don’t believe there’s any better way to learn than on the job and by talking to those who are working at the highest levels in the industry. The real learning is done by listening and getting advice from people within the industry.
What is the value of cross-sport education?
BIGGA’s educational package is fantastic and it attracts a varied set of speakers, not just covering golf. It’s great to listen to other people as it may be grass, but it’s grass in a different way.
There’s a synergy between golf and football. They cut the grass short and have different species, but it’s all about organisation and management. The days of being a grass cutter are long gone and the courses BIGGA put on are excellent and with a varied list of speakers, it’s just fantastic.