The very best in the grounds management industry were celebrated at a dazzling evening at AMT Headingley Stadium, hosted by award-wining sports broadcaster, Hayley McQueen.
Over 300 attendees from across the sports turf industry, from grounds staff to grounds care businesses and representatives from sport’s National Governing Bodies, all gathered at the iconic AMT Headingley Stadium for an evening of celebration.
The awards recognised leadership, innovation and outstanding achievement across every aspect of grounds care, from grassroots pitches to professional stadia, over 17 categories.
Attendees celebrated new talent emerging on the scene, with two female winners of the Young Groundsperson of the Year and Newcomer of the Year award categories, whilst long-time industry stalwarts were honoured with Hall of Fame inductions and GMA Grounds Manager of the Year awards.
The awards ceremony recognised outstanding achievements in public and private sports venues and highlighted the progress of young grounds professionals as well as outstanding performance in environmental practices. Also new to 2023 was a Special Recognition Award which shone a light on a unique and inspiring individual who represents everything that is positive about the industry.
Geoff Webb, CEO of the Grounds Management Association, commented on the success of the evening:
“The GMA Industry Awards are always an important evening in the industry’s calendar. With the industry playing such a vital role in the country’s enjoyment of sport, it’s hugely important that we come together to celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals and grounds teams across all levels of sport.
“The talent celebrated throughout the event is testament to the hard work and innovation of grounds staff across the sector, and we’re always delighted to see exceptional examples recongised and celebrated for their achievements. The iconic AMT Headingly Stadium provided the perfect backdrop for the awards.
“There were many highlights on the night, including two women, Bethany Gibbs and Meg Lay, taking home the Young Groundsperson of the Year and Newcomer of the Year awards – opening the sector to a wider demographic has long been an objective of the GMA’s work, so to see two young women receiving recognition on the night was a real sign of progress.
“The surprise on Rod Heyhoe and Lee Marshallsay’s faces represented the full spectrum of exceptional grounds managers, from volunteers to professionals, as they received recognition for their outstanding contribution to sports turf. The story of Zeynu Bedru, who received a Special Recognition Award, and his journey as a refugee from Eritea to Harrogate RUFC, summed up the wonderful community our industry creates.”
The winners of the GMA Industry Awards 2023 are:
Young Groundsperson of the Year - Sponsored by Origin Amenity Solutions
Bethany Gibbs Wellington School
Newcomer of the Year
Meg Lay Gloucestershire CCC
Volunteer Groundsperson or Team of the Year
Clapton Community F.C
Community Groundsperson or Team of the Year - Sponsored by National Governing Bodies
Yeovil Recreation Centre
Environmental and Sustainability Impact - Sponsored by Syngenta
Leicester City F.C
Bowls/Croquet Groundsperson or Team of the Year
Wantage Bowling Club
Best Managed Artificial Surface of the Year
Yeovil Recreation Centre
Professional Horse Racing Grounds Team of the Year - Sponsored by Avant Tecno UK LTD
Professional Cricket Grounds Team of the Year
Professional Tennis Courts Grounds Team of the Year - Sponsored by Infinicut
Professional Rugby Union Grounds Team of the Year
Professional Rugby League Grounds Team of the Year - Sponsored by Agronomic Services Ltd
Professional Football Grounds Team of the Year
Stockport County F.C
Professional Football Grounds Team (Elite) - Sponsored by SGL
Leicester City F.C
University/College Grounds Team of the Year
Independent School Grounds Team of the Year - Sponsored by ISEKI UK & Ireland
Special Recognition Award
Zeynu Bedru Harrogate RUFC
GMA Grounds Manager of the Year - Sponsored by DLF Seeds Ltd
Lee Marshallsay Eton College
The GMA is hugely grateful for the GMA Industry Awards sponsors for their support of the industry:
Platinum sponsor and Independent School Grounds Team of the Year Category sponsor
Award Category sponsors
National Governing Bodies (RFL, RFU, ECB, Premier League)
Avant Tecno UK