Finalists announced for 2016 GMA Industry Awards

The finalists have been announced for the prestigious Grounds Management Association (GMA) Industry Awards 2016.

Now in its eighth year, the awards event – which enjoys headline sponsorship by Rigby Taylor and Top Green - acknowledge the high standards achieved by volunteer and professional grounds teams as well as individuals at facilities ranging from grassroots to professional stadia level, plus contractors within the industry.

“This year’s entries broke all records with more entries per category than any previous year,” says GMA chief executive Geoff Webb. “The judges, all of whom are groundsmen, were particularly impressed with the quality of submissions. Indeed, each year the quality of applications improves.

“Anyone nominated should be recognised regardless of whether they make the final stage. It just shows the range and dedication of those working at both professional and volunteer level, day in and day out. The awards cover a diverse range of categories where quality truly shines through.”

Geoff adds: “The awards event would not be possible without the generosity of all our sponsors who have enabled the awards to become such a landmark event of the year. The industry’s support is valued and has undoubtedly created the conditions for a sell-out event and one that enjoys national and regional TV, radio, social media and press coverage.”

The awards’ judging process recognises achievement, innovation and fresh thinking as well as examples of best practice from the leaders in the world of groundsmanship.

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 National Conference Centre, within the National Motorcycle Museum, on Wednesday 2 November – the evening of the opening day of the SALTEX exhibition at the nearby NEC.

The finalists are:

SGL Professional Football Grounds Team of the Year
Leicester City F.C; Manchester City F.C; Manchester United F.C; Tottenham Hotspur F.C.

Headland Amenity Professional Cricket Grounds Team of the Year
Durham CCC; Essex CCC.

John Deere Professional Horse Racing Grounds Team of the Year
Hamilton Park Racecourse, South Lanarkshire: Huntingdon Racecourse, Cambridgeshire.

Desso Professional Rugby Football Union Grounds Team of the Year
Ricoh Arena (Wasps RFC), Coventry; Yorkshire Carnegie (Leeds Rugby).

Mansfield Sand Professional Rugby Football League Grounds Team of the Year
Castleford Tigers, West Yorkshire; Leeds Rhinos, Leeds Rugby.

Professional Tennis Grounds Team of the Year
All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon; Devonshire Park Lawn Tennis Club, Eastbourne.

National Governing Bodies Professional Sports Ground of the Year
Etihad Campus, Manchester; BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh; Wembley Stadium, London.

This category co-sponsored by the AELTC (All England Lawn Tennis Club), ECB (the England and Wales Cricket Board), The FA (Football Association), the Football Foundation, The LTA (Lawn Tennis Association), the Premier League, the RFL (Rugby Football League) and the RFU (Rugby Football Union).

Rigby Taylor/Top Green Young Groundsman of the Year
Lewis Pattinson, Leeds Rugby; James Wood, Manchester City F.C.

Toro Most Promising Sports Turf Student of the Year 
Daniel Bradley, The Liberty Stadium; Katie Croft, Manchester City F.C; Elliot Wilson, Myerscough College.

SISGrass Unsung Hero of the Year
Paul Roberts, Grayshott CC, Hampshire; Adam Witchell, Forest Green Rovers F.C, Gloucestershire.

Ransomes Environmental Project/Innovation of the Year
Groundwater Dynamics, Leamington Spa; St George’s Park, Burton upon Trent.

STIHL Contractor of the Year
Premier Pitches, Sheffield; Woodward Turf Care, Hinckley.

Best Maintained Artificial Pitch of the Year
Nottingham University; St George’s Park, Burton upon Trent.

Countrywide Independent School, University or Sports Ground Team of the Year
St Peter’s School, York; The Hurlingham Club, London.

Bowling Green Groundsman/Team of the Year
Burnham Hillside Bowls Club, Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex; Arthur Lindsey, Potton Bowls Club, Bedfordshire.

Trimax International Ambassador of the Year
Anthony Brooks, Desert Springs Resort, Spain; Stuart Wilson, Croke Park, Dublin.

National Governing Bodies Grassroots Sports Grounds Team of the Year
Chorley Panthers RLFC, Lancashire; NPL Sports Club, Teddington; Rugby Town Junior F.C, Rugby.

This category co-sponsored by the AELTC (All England Lawn Tennis Club), ECB (the England and Wales Cricket Board), The FA (Football Association), the Football Foundation, The LTA (Lawn Tennis Association), the Premier League, the RFL (Rugby Football League) and the RFU (Rugby Football Union).

Redexim Charterhouse/Kubota Volunteer Sports Groundsman of the Year
Tommy-Lee Cox, Old Hill CC, Cradley Heath, Birmingham; Lee Watson, Clay Cross Town F.C, Derbyshire.

Two awards will be announced on the night; the Alex R Millar DLF Johnsons/Ransomes Groundsman of the Year Award and the Souters Sports Lifetime Achievement Award.

The 2016 GMA Industry Awards are sponsored by the AELTC, ECB, The FA, the RFL, the RFU, the Football Foundation, the Premier League, Sport England, the LTA, Countrywide, SGL, Desso, SISGrass, Trimax, STIHL, DLF, Johnsons Seeds, Headland Amenity, John Deere, Kubota, Mansfield Sand, Ransomes, Redexim Charterhouse, Souters Sports, Toro, Rigby Taylor and Top Green.