Membership

Core members

The core membership is shown in the track record (Section A), which details the specialisms of each party within the sports surfaces research communities. They were specifically chosen for their combination of expertise in materials, experimental and modelling methods, ball-surface interaction, player-surface interactions and shoe effects, injury diagnosis and treatment, player perception, and current industry practice for design, construction and standards for sports surfaces. These core members encompass the key topics within this diverse subject area, and the predominantly academic content predicates for two specific reasons, firstly the academics bring a credibility and transparency to this subject area that currently is poorly researched and is driven by a mainly commercial agenda. Secondly, it is considered that much of the emerging research in this area of sports science and engineering is relatively novel and recent and thus it is the younger dynamic research community that are currently particularly vocal and proactive in developing this subject area. The core membership letters of intent are shown in Appendix A.

The core members have collective ownership of the Network aims and objectives, and are the custodians of the network operation principles and measures of success. The network leader will ensure the network operates smoothly and is properly managed and resourced to meets its objectives. The success of the workshops and seminars proposed relies heavily upon the core members, who have the necessary expertise to make a success of running and managing these events.

The core membership is expected to grow as the network itself grows. It will be aimed to ensure that both a suitable critical mass is achieved and of complementary skills to ensure the core committee make balanced judgements in accordance with the network aims and in the interests of the members.

General members

The Network is open to any individual or organisation that has an interest in sports surfaces, from research through industry to the end user, including government organisations and funding agencies. An international membership will be developed and specifically through invited attendance at specific workshops and the conference. The participation of the sports governing bodies (both national and international) is considered vital in ensuring the science and technological aspects of the research aims are effectively communicated to their member communities. In general these bodies have insufficient resources to initiate or manage such a forum and see great benefit in participation. The key members of these organisations have all indicated their support, the letters of support (Appendix B) demonstrate the enthusiasm and need for such an open forum for the exchange of ideas and future collaborations, and in particular show the large diversity (from the Government's Sports Minister to a sports floor contractor) and hence potential impact of the proposed network's activities.

There are currently other relatively small sports focussed networks, such as ISSS, Sportspulse (Sheffield), and SET network (Sheffield) that have limited remits and scope but that would benefit from interaction with this new network. In particular the Sportspulse and Sport SET networks (set up from DTI link award in 1999) based in Sheffield are 'hothouse' forums to link industry and academe and facilitate funding of sport engineering projects to the benefit of SME's. The International Association for Sports Surface Sciences (ISSS) is an 'association of technical experts involved in the investigation, development and testing sports surfaces'. Their main aim is the standardisation of sports surface testing, and their core membership (limited in number) is the testing houses that are sanctioned to carry out the pitch accreditation testing. They would benefit from involvement with, in particular, the academic community of the new network.