The expertise and dedication of Bury FC’s grounds team has been recognised by this year’s Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) Industry Awards with the club winning the SISGrass Professional Football Grounds Team of the Year Award.
SISGrass was delighted to once again sponsor the Professional Football Grounds Team of the Year prize at the Institute of Groundsmanship Industry Awards, which once again recognised the hard work and dedication of groundsmen across the country
Grounds care experts
In a prestigious ceremony at the National Conference Centre in Birmingham, the award was presented to the team by Ivo Lamot and Phil Blackwell, directors of SISGrass bv and SIS Pitches respectively, and BBC football presenter Mark Clemmit. The awards took place 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.
Bury FC contested the award in a category open to grounds teams from the English Leagues 1 and 2, National, National North/South, Scottish Championship and Leagues 1 and 2, as well as the Ireland and Wales Professional Leagues.
The club’s 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 (where there are four engineered playing surfaces and two soil-based pitches), plus 20 acres of 12 soil-based pitches at the nearby Goshen Community Sports Facility.
Usage levels are high. The 2016/17 season saw 47 games for Bury FC, two youth matches, one ladies game and 18 other events; while the training ground each week usually endures 24.5 hours of training sessions, 16 youth games and three/four games of academy football over 24 weekends. In addition, local league finals are hosted (approximately 45 games a day!), plus corporate and media events.
With such a busy fixture schedule symptomatic of the facilities being used all year round, and the fact that the team undertakes as much of the renovation work as possible at both the stadium and training ground, the four-man squad certainly have its hands full.
Presentation is key to their actions, and while all the pitch maintenance tasks are undertaken to the highest standards, the use of a controlled fertiliser programme, for example, has also produced good results.
Organised by the IOG – the leading membership organisation for everyone involved in the management of sports pitches, landscape and amenity facilities – the annual awards embrace categories of entry covering sport, young people and the environment.
The awards highlight the high standards of volunteer and professional groundsmanship, from grassroots to professional stadia level. They are judged by an independent panel on criteria that include effective use of resources, budgetary control, presentation and housekeeping standards, as well as environmental considerations.
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.”
With headline sponsorship by Rigby Taylor and Top Green, the 2017 IOG Industry Awards are also sponsored by the AELTC, CubCadet Infinicut, DLF, ECB, The FA, GrassMaster, Growth Products, Headland Amenity, John Deere, Johnsons Seeds, Kubota, the LTA, Mansfield Sand, the Premier League, Ransomes, Redexim Charterhouse, the RFL, the RFU, Rigby Taylor, SGL, SISGrass, Toro and Top Green.
SISGrass was delighted to once again sponsor the Professional Football Grounds Team of the Year prize at the Institute of Groundsmanship Awards, which once again recognised the hard work and dedication of groundsmen across the country.
Visit www.iog.org/awards for more details.
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