World Cup Ipswich!

THE countdown is on for the biggest sports event of the year ? and one Ipswich firm is playing a lead part in making sure it all runs smoothly.People from around the world will be flocking to South Africa for the World Cup and staff at Ransomes Jacobsen have been working hard to make sure that the playing surfaces of the tournament's stadia will be in tip-top shape.

THE countdown is on for the biggest sports event of the year ? and one Ipswich firm is playing a lead part in making sure it all runs smoothly.

People from around the world will be flocking to South Africa for the World Cup and staff at Ransomes Jacobsen have been working hard to make sure that the playing surfaces of the tournament's stadia will be in tip-top shape.

The company, which has supplied machinery to two previous World Cups, has delivered a selection of mowing equipment to maintain the stadium and training facilities to be used at the FIFA World Cup this summer.

The mowers will be used to maintain the pitches at one of the existing stadiums and at three of six new stadiums specially constructed for the event, as well as two training venues.

The new stadia will provide a legacy for South African football and other sports when the competition ends on July 11.

David Withers, managing director of Ransomes Jacobsen at Ipswich, said it was “a great feeling” for those connected with the firm, especially the team on the shop floor who build the machines, to know that Ipswich had a connection with such a major sporting occasion.

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“It's a testament to the quality and reputation of our equipment that they are the preferred mowers of choice for stadium venues around the world,” he said.

“Once again we are delighted that it's our equipment maintaining the playing surfaces at many of the venues at this global tournament.

“We've been building mowers here in Ipswich since 1832 and are proud of our heritage.”

A Jacobsen Tri-King ride-on triple mower will be used to prepare the pitch at the 44,530 seat Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace in Rustenburg where England's footballing side will open its campaign against the USA on June 12.

It will also be ensuring pitch-perfect conditions at the new 45,264 seater Peter Mokaba stadium in Polokwane in the north of the country, the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban, which has a capacity of 69,957, and the Mbombela stadium in Nelspruit, a two hour drive northeast of Johannesburg, which can accommodate 43,589 fans.

Jacobsen machinery is also being used at Cape Town's Athlone Stadium, the traditional home of football in the Western Cape, where �34million has been invested to bring it up to the standards required for a 2010 FIFA World Cup training venue.

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