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World Cup expert to kick off IOG conference
November 2, 2011

Presentations by Ian Savage, the man behind the development of the Gilbert match balls used in the Rugby World Cup 2011, and by STRI's Richard Hayden, who will discuss the 'Preparation of pitches for international tournaments', have just been announced as exciting new additions to the comprehensive programme for this year's IOG Industry Conference at the Reebok Stadium, Bolton, on December 1.

As Product Research and Development Manager at Gilbert Rugby, Ian Savage's keynote address will focus on his fascinating role as the person responsible for the Official Match Ball at the New Zealand tournament.

He will outline how he has worked closely with international players and coaches in the development of the Virtuo ball, as well as his investigations into ball performance due to differences in stadia and ground conditions.

His presentation will also cover aspects such as aerodynamics, impact control and insights into ball performance due to external elements - weather, pitch contaminants and individual player styles.  It will also provide a chance to see how the ball has developed over time to reduce the impact of different weather conditions on the playability of the ball.

In addition, STRI's Richard Hayden is promising delegates a 'high tempo' presentation on the p reparation of football pitches for international tournaments, drawing on his vast experience which includes the development of two new pitches in Kharkiv in the Ukraine - where the grass has to survive at temperatures of -25 degC - as well as STRI's work at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Their roles in the not-to-be-repeated programme at the 'Building Skills, Transforming Grounds' Sports Turf Conference further enhances the sessions that will inform and interest groundsmen at every level while also providing invaluable advice on some of the best-practice groundscare strategies in the world.

For more information about programme content, booking details and attractive package deals, visit

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