IOG Industry Awards celebrate the very best in UK groundsmanship

More than 650 of the UK’s and Europe’s leading groundscare experts from both the professional and volunteer sector, as well as dignitaries from the governing bodies of sport and influential sports administrators, have honoured the expertise, dedication and passion of the grounds profession at the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) annual Industry Awards.

Celebrating its 10th Anniversary, this year’s sell-out event at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole hosted by talkSPORT radio presenter Mark Saggers, recognised leadership, innovation and outstanding achievement across every aspect of groundscare – from grassroots pitches to professional stadia.

The prestigious awards ceremony also celebrated the quality standards of groundscare achieved in public and private sports venues, and highlighted the progress of young/student grounds professionals as well as entrants’ environmental considerations.

From an entry that equalled last year’s record-breaking nominations, the winners of the 2018 IOG Industry Awards are:

Toro Most Promising Sports Turf Student of the Year

Matthew Skingle, Coventry City FC.

Rigby Taylor/Top Green Young Grounds Person of the Year

John Wright, Southampton FC.

AMS Volunteer Sports Grounds Team/Person of the Year

Crowborough RFC, East Sussex.

National Governing Bodies’ Community Sports Club Grounds Team/Person of the Year

Stanningley Sports & Amateur Rugby League Club, Leeds.

The National Governing Bodies of sport (NGBs) award is co-sponsored by the AELTC (All England Lawn Tennis Club), ECB (the England and Wales Cricket Board), The FA (Football Association), the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association), the Premier League, the RFL (Rugby Football League), RFU (Rugby Football Union) and Sport England.

Public Sector Sports Ground Team of the Year

Gavin Jones Ltd (Aspire Defence, Project Allenby/Connaught), Surrey.

Bowling Grounds Team/Person of the Year

Burleys (Crouch Bowling Club, East Sussex).

SCH Supplies Best Managed Artificial Surface of the Year

Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow.

Ransomes Environmental and Ecology Strategy Award

Forest Green Rovers FC, Gloucestershire.

National Governing Bodies’ Professional Multi-Sports Ground/Facility Team of the Year

Bath Recreation Ground.

The National Governing Bodies of sport (NGB's) award is co-sponsored by the AELTC (All England Lawn Tennis Club), ECB (the England and Wales Cricket Board), The FA (Football Association), the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association), the Premier League, the RFL (Rugby Football League), RFU (Rugby Football Union) and Sport England.

Headland Amenity Professional Cricket Grounds Team of the Year

Warwickshire CCC, Edgbaston.

John Deere Professional Horse Racing Grounds Team of the Year

Lingfield Park Racecourse, Surrey.

CubCadet INFINICUT Professional Tennis Courts Grounds Team/Person of the Year

Devonshire Park, Eastbourne.

ICL/Syngenta Professional Rugby Football League Grounds Team of the Year

Leeds Rhinos (Leeds Rugby).

Kubota Professional Rugby Football Union Grounds Team of the Year

Scottish RFU (BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh).

SISGrass Professional Football Grounds Team of the Year (English Leagues 1 & 2, National League, National League North/South, Scottish Championship & Leagues 1 & 2, Ireland & Wales Professional Leagues)

Rotherham United FC.

SGL Professional Football Grounds Team of the Year (Premier League, Championship and Scottish Premier League)

Leicester City FC.

Redexim Charterhouse/Kubota University/College Grounds Team of the Year

University of Leicester.

Growth Products Independent School Grounds Team of the Year

St Joseph’s College, Ipswich.

International Ambassador of the Year

Jonathan Calderwood, Paris Saint-Germain FC.

Ransomes/DLF Johnsons Alex R Millar Award – chosen from the outstanding winner across all award categories

Gary Barwell, Warwickshire CCC.

Special Recognition Award

Mike Hunt and Adrian Morgan, Lord’s Cricket Ground.

GrassMaster Solutions Lifetime Achievement Award

Peter Dury, who, among many other achievements in sports turf throughout the country, is credited for developing the Pitch Performance Quality Standards that are today’s de facto standards for both natural and artificial playing surfaces.

GrassMaster Solutions Outstanding Achievement Award

Carl Pass and Steve Prinn

Carl Pass is head of Premier Pitches, a company that works at all levels of the game on pitch renovations and reconstructions, as well as aeration, fertilisation, seeding and spraying. Throughout, he says, the aim is to create the very best playing surfaces and to enhance the standards that can be expected from natural grass pitches.

Now retired as a turf grass lecturer at Askham Bryan College, Steve Prinn is an independent consultant who is skilled in sports surface management. As well as a whole host of City and Guilds accreditations Steve also holds a Master's degree in sports turf and turf grass management.

A special award, for Outstanding Leadership of the IOG, was presented to IOG Chair David Teasdale.

Commenting on the high standard of award winners, IOG Chief Executive Geoff Webb, says: “Having this year suffered extreme weather conditions, with the winter’s ‘Beast from the East’ through to this summer’s unprecedented record heatwave, the climate has tested groundsmen to their limits.

“It has not been easy, yet we have seen how fantastic our profession is and, against all the odds and on a daily basis battling against the elements, this year’s awards had a fantastic array of nominees who have all achieved very high standards. I applaud everyone and thank them for their efforts in creating amazing playing surfaces.”

The 2018 IOG Industry Awards are sponsored by AELTC (All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club), AMS (Automated Managed Services), CubCadet INFINICUT, DLF Trifolium, ECB (England & Wales Cricket Board), Growth Products, Headland Amenity, ICL, John Deere, Johnsons Sports Seed, Kubota, LTA (Lawn Tennis Association), the Premier League, Ransomes, Redexim Charterhouse, RFL (Rugby Football League), RFU (Rugby Football Union), Rigby Taylor, SISGrass, SCH Supplies, SGL, Sport England, Syngenta, GrassMaster (Tarkett Sports), The FA (The Football Association), Top Green and Toro.

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