Manchester City groundsman wins Rigby Taylor award at IOG Ceremony
Manchester City assistant groundman, James Wood, has won the Rigby Taylor/Top Green Young Groundsman of the Year at the recent Institure of Groundsmanship (IOG) annual Industry Awards.
Almost 700of 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 IOG awards.
Now in its ninth year, the sell-out event at the National Conference Centre, within the National Motorcycle Museum and 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.
The winners of the 2017 IOG Industry Awards are:
Rigby Taylor/Top Green Young Groundsman of the Year
James Wood, Manchester City FC
An assistant groundsman at MCFC, James joined the club in 2013 after a period at Lancashire County Cricket Club. He gained the National Diploma in Sports Turf, with Distinction, simultaneously also collecting the Ransomes Jacobson Turf Machinery Practical Award for his hard work and dedication.
Ransomes Environmental/Innovative Project of the Year
Forest Green Rovers FC
The club adopts a ‘green’ policy of pitch care by, for example, not using herbicides, pesticides or fungicides, as well utilising a robotic mower powered by 100 per cent green electricity and using GPS technology to automatically mow the pitch. The club implemented the Eco-Management and Audit qualification (achieved in 2012 – a first in the football world), the gold standard in environmental performance.
Toro Most Promising Sports Turf Student of the Year
Tara Massey, Manchester City FC
Tara, an apprentice at Manchester City’s Football Academy (CFA), is a Level 2 student and, according to her tutor, “her level of understanding is nothing short of astonishing. The level of knowledge answers within her portfolio of evidence is more comparable to Level 3 and 4 work, and something that should be highly commended.” She completed the Level 2 programme in record time and now is looking to start the Level 3 programme.
SGL Professional Football Grounds Team or the Year(Premier League, Championship and Scottish Premier League)
Leicester City FC
The 10-strong LCFC grounds team is responsible for the management of all sports turf surfaces and surrounding landscapes of The King Power Stadium, the Belvoir Drive training facility, the Holmes Park LRCFA HQ (under 23s venue) and the OHL FC (Belgium) site. Every member of the team contributes to the effectiveness of the department, from the grounds manager who plans and sets the strategies for the team members who log the hours of use, weather, machinery and operations diaries.
SISGrass Professional Football Grounds Team of the Year (English Leagues 1 & 2, National, National North/South, Scottish Championship & Leagues 1 & 2, Ireland & Wales Professional Leagues)
Bury FC, Greater Manchester
Bury FC’s four-strong grounds team is charged with managing a total of 45 acres, including The Energy Check Stadium pitch, six pitches and accompanying shrub and flower bed areas at the Carrington training ground, plus 20 acres of 12 soil-based pitches at the nearby Goshen Community Sports Facility.
National Governing Bodies Professional Sports Grounds Team of the Year
Manchester City FC
In addition to the stadium pitch, the MCFC team (18 full-time staff plus 12 causal staff who cover holidays etc) is also charged with the maintenance and upkeep of 17.5 full-size playing surfaces at the adjacent City Football Academy, which includes artificial surfaces.