2013 will probably be remembered as a gentle climb out of recession, with confidence returning to all sectors of industry. From our perspective, perhaps it will be better remembered as a year of calm, with more predictable weather patterns that allowed us to manage our turf better and for longer.
As I type this foreword, it is the beginning of December and there are still signs of growth and recovery. Whilst winter clung on longer, and spring started somewhat later, the summer was, on the whole, more traditional and, despite some rain in October, the relatively dry autumn gave groundsmen and greenkeepers the opportunity to really push on with improvements and projects.
2013 also gave us some great sport played on outstanding surfaces and, as a profession, we should be very proud of the hard work, commitment and quality that we continue to showcase to the rest of the world.
I would also like to think that Pitchcare has continued to be of assistance to members and businesses within our industry. We launched our new App to allow members to access news and articles via mobile devices. This coincided with the 50th issue of the Pitchcare magazine and our introduction of augmented reality - videos and podcasts straight from the pages - an industry first.
We have even more plans to improve the website, magazine and services we provide in 2014. I'm not going to give too much away, but I can assure you there's a lot to look forward to.
For me, the arrival of a new year is a special time; one to reflect on the departing year, but more about the building of hopes and excitement for the coming one.
Let us hope that chairmen, club secretaries and bursars can be encouraged by the economic upturn and provide additional funding for machinery, staff and general improvements to the playing facilities.
A good business case will always help your corner and, if you need help or advice in putting one together, then I'm sure that there's enough good people, including myself, within the Pitchcare community only too happy to offer help freely.
On behalf of all of us at Pitchcare, have a fantastic and prosperous New Year!