Fringe Box



University Groundstaff Among Award Winners – Again

Published on: 7 Nov, 2017
Updated on: 9 Nov, 2017

The University of Surrey’s acting head of grounds Iain Main (centre) and sports team leader Grant Young (right) collect the award from Growth Products’ Keith Giertych.

The groundstaff team at the University of Surrey is among the awards again.

The team, led by acting head of grounds Iain Main, who won the 2010 Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) Groundsman’s Groundsman of the Year Award, has been recognised once more, winning the Independent School/University/College Grounds Team of the Year Award.

The award was presented at the National Conference Centre at an event hosted by talkSPORT radio presenter Mark Saggers.  Iain, now the university’s acting head of grounds and sports team leader Grant Young accepted the award from Keith Giertych, Growth Product’s sports turf agronomist, in front of an audience of almost 700 of the UK’s and Europe’s leading groundscare experts, as well as dignitaries from the governing bodies of sport and influential sports administrators.

Iain Main said:  “This is a great achievement by the grounds team at the university, they work tirelessly to produce great outdoor facilities and I am very proud to be part of the team.”

The groundstaff team at the University of Surrey.

Five of the 16-strong university’s grounds team are focussed on maintaining the sports surfaces at the 400 plus-acres site. Their remit covers ten grass football/rugby pitches, eight tennis courts, three artificial surfaces, including a 3G football pitch, two netball courts, and a two-lane 40-metre sprint track.

A measure of their success at maintaining these playing surfaces to the highest standards can be gained from the fact that the site is home to the rugby union Premier Champions Harlequins, and its hosted the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup, the 2013 Nations Cup and was a training venue for the Rugby World Cup 2015 being used by the squads from Ireland, Scotland, Italy and South Africa.

In addition to consistently presenting high-class pitches for students and local teams, the grounds team is also skilled at quickly converting the surfaces from, say, rugby to American football and from football to Gaelic football.

They are also currently implementing grassland management plans to produce wildlife areas and displays of flora on the site, and this year have been involved in the design and development of two new rugby pitches which will come into use in 2018.

Commenting on the high standard of award winners, IOG chief executive Geoff Webb, says: “With a record number of entries, this year’s awards continue to demonstrate the skills and passion of groundsmanship throughout the UK, at both voluntary and professional level.

“Winning an award is testament to the dedication of the grounds teams and individuals whose ability to produce and maintain ever-improving playing surfaces – which enables more games to take place – goes largely unnoticed.”

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Responses to University Groundstaff Among Award Winners – Again

  1. Susan Kay-Attwood Reply

    November 8, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    Well done guys!

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