Groundscare men and women are often overlooked when it comes to sports and community playing fields. Maintaining a large area of turf is no easy task – it requires planning, hard work and specialist equipment to get the job done.
Just like sports itself, a lot of time and effort goes in to making sure the pitches and playing fields are looking and performing at their best.
One team that made headlines last year was Leicester City FC, not just for their fairytale Premier League winning season but also for the hard work of head groundsman, John Ledgwidge. Throughout the season, Leicester’s pitches took on all manor of designs.
For example, to mark Remembrance Day, the groundscare team at Leicester City FC’s King Power Stadium meticulously cut poppy shapes into an extravagant pattern on the pitch – and not a blade of grass was out of place.
What a wonderful, touching tribute to all those who have served our country, past and present.
It got us thinking – nowadays much more care and attention is paid to the quality of a playing surface, gone are the days when teams, rugby and football players alike, had to turn out to play on pitches like this…
You would be hard-pushed to find a pitch in a state like this today, even at semi and non-professional sports grounds.
The Institute of Groundsmanship strives to promote quality surfaces and services throughout the UK. Founded in 1934 by W H Bowles BEM, head groundsman at Eton College, the IOG is recognised by the National Governing Bodies of Sport and the public, private and voluntary sectors for its industry knowledge and technical expertise.
Groundscare teams up and down the country have been recognised in the Institute of Groundsmanship’s Industry Awards 2016. This time, the Football Grounds Team of the Year Award went to Tottenham Hotspur FC, with Leicester City FC scooping the award in the previous year. The IOG Industry Awards also recognise students who have made promising and commendable progress on their first steps to a career in the field, helping to strengthen and encourage the profession in the future.