“Quality of entries has been exceptional”
The finalists have been announced for this year’s prestigious Grounds Management Association (GMA) Industry Awards 2018.
This year, celebrating their 10th anniversary, the awards acknowledge the passion, dedication and challenges faced by grounds staff, volunteers and professionals across all levels of sport.
“Once again we have enjoyed a bumper number of nominations for the awards, matching last year’s record-breaking entry,” says GMA Chief Executive, Geoff Webb. “The quality has really been exceptional – with the judges commenting that some of the applications have been the best they’ve seen in the awards’ history – and a host of new nominees have come to the fore, too.”
He continues: “We should applaud everyone who has reached the shortlist – and those who have been highly commended – in an annual event that attracts national and regional TV, radio, social media and press coverage, and acknowledges the efforts of our armies of grounds people who prepare playing surfaces at all levels of sport.”
Geoff adds: “The awards would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors, and these companies and organisations have enabled the event to become a landmark occasion for the whole groundscare industry – especially this year as we celebrate a special anniversary.”
Independent judging at each venue will now take place. The winners will be announced Oscar-style at the GMA Industry Awards dinner by host Mark Saggers from talkSPORT radio at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, on Wednesday 31 October – the evening of the opening day of the SALTEX exhibition at the nearby NEC.
The finalists are:
Toro Most Promising Sports Turf Student of the Year
Tom Bacon, Devonshire Park, Eastbourne; Matthew Skingle, Coventry City FC.
Rigby Taylor/Top Green Young Grounds Person of the Year
Dan Sparks, Bristol Sport; John Wright, Southampton FC.
AMS Volunteer Sports Grounds Team/Person of the Year
Crowborough RFC, East Sussex; David Lane, Oldswinford and Stourbridge Social Cricket Club (Norwood Road), West Midlands.
National Governing Bodies’ Community Sports Club Grounds Team/Person of the Year
Hanwell Town FC, Middlesex; 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, 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; Devonshire Park, Eastbourne.
Bowling Grounds Team/Person of the Year
Burleys (Crouch Bowling Club, East Sussex); Rolls-Royce Leisure Association, Derby.
SCH Supplies Best Managed Artificial Surface of the Year
Beversbrook Sports Facility, Swindon; Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow.
Ransomes Environmental and Ecology Strategy Award
Cardiff University; Forest Green Rovers FC, Gloucestershire.
National Governing Bodies’ Professional Multi-Sports Ground/Facility Team of the Year
Bath Recreation; London Stadium 185; Manchester City FC.
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, RFL (Rugby Football League), RFU (Rugby Football Union) and Sport England.
Headland Amenity Professional Cricket Grounds Team of the Year
Fenner’s – Cambridge University; Warwickshire CCC, Edgbaston.
CubCadet INFINICUT Professional Tennis Courts Grounds Team/Person of the Year
Devonshire Park, Eastbourne; Magdalen College School, Oxford.
John Deere Professional Horse Racing Grounds Team of the Year
Lingfield Park Racecourse, Surrey; Warwick Racecourse.
ICL/Syngenta Professional Rugby Football League Grounds Team of the Year
Castleford Tigers, West Yorkshire; Leeds Rhinos (Leeds Rugby); Salford Red Devils.
Kubota Professional Rugby Football Union Grounds Team of the Year
Bristol Bears (Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol); Scottish Rugby Union (BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh); Leicester Tigers; Yorkshire Carnegie (Leeds Rugby).
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; Swindon Town FC.
SGL Professional Football Grounds Team or the Year
(Premier League, Championship and Scottish Premier League)
Leicester City FC; Manchester City FC.
Redexim Charterhouse/Kubota University/College Grounds Team of the Year
Loughborough University; University of Leicester; University of St Andrews, Fife.
Growth Products Independent School Grounds Team of the Year
Abingdon School, Oxford; St Joseph’s College, Ipswich.
International Ambassador of the Year
Jonathan Calderwood, Paris Saint-Germain FC; Phil Fifield, iTurf Management.
The Ransomes/DLF Johnsons Alex R Millar Award – chosen from the outstanding winner across all award categories – and the Special Recognition and the GrassMaster Solutions Lifetime/Outstanding Achievement Awards will be announced on the night.
The 2018 GMA 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, 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, GrassMaster (Tarkett Sports), The FA (The Football Association), Top Green and Toro.
To learn more about the GMA Industry Awards, click here.