Eric O'Donnell Among New Officers on the Synthetic Turf Council Board


The Synthetic Turf Council (STC) announced its new Board of Directors at the Annual Membership Meeting in Cleveland, Ohio on October 22-24, 2018.

For the 2018-2019 term, the Board Officers include Chairman Kevin Barker, Vice President Sales and Marketing, Controlled Products LLC; Vice Chairman Laith Ross, Senior Principal, RossTarrant Architects; Secretary David Nardone, Principal, Stantec Sport Group; Treasurer Luke McCoy, Associate Principal, Keastle Boos Associates; Director-At-Large Donna Kent, Marketing Director, ForeverLawn Inc.; and Immediate Past Chair Amy Brackin, Vice President Marketing Development, Liberty Tire Recycling.

Board of Directors members include John Baize, Chief Executive Officer, Act Global; Brad Borgman, National Sales Manager Landscape and Recreation, USGreentech; Mike Cobb, PhD, Chief Executive Director, InnovaNet; Terra Erickson, Sales Manager, Sportsfield Specialties, Inc.; Chuck McClurg, Vice President, Shaw Sports Turf; Eric O'Donnell, Partner, Sports Labs USA; Ryan Paris, Group Value Chain Manager/General Manager, AstroTurf Corporation.

"The strength of the STC is that leaders from across the industry with diverse backgrounds volunteer their time to promote the benefits of synthetic turf systems," says Dan Bond, CAE, President & Chief Executive Officer of the STC. "Each board member's unique perspective will enable the STC to improve the world through synthetic turf."

The STC is the world's largest organization representing the synthetic turf industry, representing over 240 companies with operations in over thirteen countries. Founded in 2003, the STC assists buyers and end users with the selection, use and maintenance of synthetic turf systems in sports field, golf, municipal parks, airports, landscape and residential applications. It is a resource for current, credible, and independent research on the safety and environmental impact of synthetic turf, as well as technical guidance on the selection, installation, maintenance, and environmentally responsible disposal of synthetic turf. Membership includes builders, landscape architects, testing labs, maintenance providers, manufacturers, suppliers, installation contractors, infill material suppliers and other specialty service companies.

This pitch is the first of its type that specifically caters for frame football players.


On Friday, 14th September 2018 Mayor of South Dublin County Council Cllr. Mark Ward officially opened the recently completed 2G Frame Football Pitch at Hermitage Park, Lucan. The Mayor was joined by Daniel McLoughlin, Chief Executive of South Dublin County Council (SDCC) and John Delaney, Chief Executive of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI), plus guests, to celebrate this wonderful addition to the wealth of inclusive sport and leisure amenities in South Dublin County.

The FAI’s “Football for All” Programme is a network of clubs who provide opportunities for children with specific needs who may struggle to excel in the competitive environment of underage football or who need additional supports to develop as footballers.


The local club, Esker Celtic, have developed a “Football for All” programme that is designed to cater for players who require the use of a walker style frame and also to those who feel that they can compete more equally by using these frames. The game is played using the frame as an aid with the basic rules of Football in 4v4 or 5v5 games. The pitch at Hermitage will be the first of its type that specifically caters for frame football players.

South Dublin County Council, with the support of the FAI, contracted Sports Labs Ltd. to design the specialised surface, in consultation with the Esker Celtic Frame Football team and contracted Mc Sweeneys Ltd. for the build of the pitch over the summer months.

Speaking at the event Mayor Cllr. Mark Ward said “This opening ceremony marks the delivery of a significant project that will allow frame-users to participate in team sports at a purpose-built venue here at Hermitage Park.”


“This project was delivered by South Dublin County Council and the Football Association of Ireland and helps to ensure that sport is inclusive for people of all ages and abilities. I would like to acknowledge the role of the FAI for their support and attention throughout this process to ensure the delivery of this innovative project.”

“This pitch was specifically designed to cater for the footballing needs of children who currently travel from all parts of the country to participate in the ‘Football for All’ programme with Esker Celtic Football Club. We would like to thank the club members for their assistance in testing the various surfaces to ensure we get the best possible surface for this new facility. We would also like to show our appreciation to the club for being very accommodating during the construction period. Organising matches and camps during this time involved added pressures and we thank the club sincerely for their co-operation.”

John Delany, Chief Executive of the FAI said “This new pitch in Hermitage Park is key to the Association’s ‘Football for All’ strategy and culture. We want everyone to be given the opportunity to play football irrespective of their ability.”  

He continued, “Working with South Dublin County Council and Esker Celtic, we know now that more players of all abilities will be able to play the game they love.”

Colm Young, vice-chairman of Esker Celtic Football Club said “Esker Celtic F.C. would like to thank SDCC and the FAI for having the vision and foresight to provide a much welcomed and needed disability footballing facility for the wider community of Lucan. Our fame and amputee footballers now have a place to call home.”

Also speaking at the event Paul Cleary, chairman of Esker Celtic F.C. said “Esker Celtic Football Club are very proud to be associated with the new purpose built facility constructed in Hermitage Park by South Dublin County Council and the Football Association of Ireland.”

“The facility will enable all the children in the club to be more involved in the sport on a regular basis regardless of their ability.  The club will look forward to players travelling from afar to use the facility and open up the opportunity to have games across various clubs.”

“We are looking forward to welcoming teams representing the Football Association of Ireland to this facility and to assist them in any way we can. Congratulations to all involved in delivering this project and we hope to play our part in ensuring this facility will be a success.”

This project was funded by South Dublin County Council and the Football Association of Ireland and helps to ensure that sport is inclusive for people of all ages and abilities.