By Mike Jiggens
It may not be the rosiest of times for golf so far this season, but elsewhere in the industry there is reason for celebration. In the municipal world, Communities in Bloom is celebrating its 20th season this year, and the sports turf industry has laid the foundation to come together as one from coast to coast.
Communities in Bloom began in 1995 as more or less a Canada-wide floral competition. But something happened along the way, and it has grown into much more. It has inspired municipalities across the country to rally the troops within their respective communities to work together to show off their civic pride, their environmental efforts and demonstrate the meaning of teamwork.
There is still a floral component to Communities in Bloom. Its logo and the word “bloom” itself suggests there is still an element of flowers involved.
But it is the exchange of information among the participating communities—the networking—which has emerged as arguably Communities in Bloom’s strongest appeal.
Communities with common concerns have been able to engage in constructive dialogue with one another about various issues, whether these issues are directly or indirectly related to greenspaces.
Within the communities themselves, residents have become more aware of such matters as enhanced environmentalism, the need to pay attention to watering guidelines and an all-out effort toward tidiness.
There is still a friendly competition at heart, but it’s a healthy competition in which everyone wins in the end.
Sports Turf Canada (formerly the Sports Turf Association) has branched out beyond Ontario’s borders and now has strong representation in both British Columbia and New Brunswick. It is the plan of new president Tennessee Propedo to introduce the association to the prairie provinces and generate interest in Quebec as well, to make Sports Turf Canada a much more rounded organization.
FIFAâ€ˆ(Fédération Internationale de Football Association) has two important events in Canada, both this year and next. Games will take place in four Canadian cities in one event and in six locations for the other. The host cities, including Moncton, N.B., have been making the necessary preparations to their high-end fields.
The back-to-back events will undoubtedly generate new interest in soccer in Canada, particularly among female enthusiasts, which could potentially trigger a demand for more fields.
This is seemingly a good problem to have. If nothing else, it will get more Canadians physically active.
If only the same demand could be had for golf, the state of the game would be much healthier.
The two main arguments against golf remain that the game takes too long to play and it’s too expensive. Efforts are being made in golf circles to address both of these issues, and there are some smart people involved who just might come up with an answer.
This past winter hasn’t helped matters any, but let’s hope there are clearer skies ahead for the game.
In the meantime, let’s appreciate what is happening on other fronts.