The famous Albert Dock in Liverpool, England played host to the 4th annual ESTO Congress on September 26th and 27th, bringing together ESTO members as well as national and international sports federations to discuss and debate the future of synthetic turf and the crucial role ESTO will play in its development.
A well-attended delegation took an active part in two busy days of cutting edge content from a variety of industry respected speakers. Mark Pover from the English FA, Antonio Armeni from LND in Italy and Karolina Kristenson, who is an MD PhD graduate working with Jan Ekstrand’s Football Research Group at Linköping University were the ‘big hitting’ line-up of speakers in the first session on day one.
Nigel Fletcher, ESTO’s Executive Chairman took to the stage for the second half of the day, giving a major insight into next year outlining in clear terms the many new benefits for members, both direct and indirect benefits. The focus will be giving members even more benefits whilst positioning ESTO as an Independent and neutral source for objective information, data and for more persons to understand the benefits of synthetic turf.
Other speakers in the afternoon session included Piet Tytgat from Recticel, Daniel Shockmann from Genan, Mats Johnsson from Ashurst and Alastair Cox from Labosport. Nigel Fletcher from ESTO brought day one to a close with some final conclusions before the delegates moved on to the PanAm bar on the famous docks to eat, drink and network during the evening whilst taking in the sounds of the FabBeatles – a nod to Liverpool’s most famous exports!
ESTO itself took centre stage at the start of day two of the Congress with Nigel Fletcher giving everyone a review of the ESTO membership benefits and its next steps, showcasing the new website, the Market Report – Vision 2020 with Robin Russell, former management team member at the English FA and technical consultant to UEFA. The ESTO Market report is a landmark publication. In this opening to the second day members were also shown again the new digital ESTO member directory plus a host of other new benefits and services that the ESTO membership can now enjoy.
The Congress then moved on to presentations from the two biggest international federations in attendance, and strong advocates of synthetic turf; FIFA and the IRB. Steve Griffiths from the IRB then handed back to Nigel Fletcher to take those in attendance through a key development in the ESTO landscaping development before rounding the Congress up with a brief summary and look forward to the rest of 2013 and beyond.
The next ESTO congress will take place in Istanbul in 2014 and we once again very much look forward to welcoming all of our members and colleagues to what we hope will be another successful event.