More than 600 of the UK’s and Europe’s leading groundscare experts from both the professional and volunteer sector, as well as dignitaries from the governing bodies of sport and influential sports administrators, have honoured the expertise, dedication and passion of the grounds profession at the Grounds Management Association (GMA) annual Industry Awards.
This year’s sell-out event hosted by BBC TV presenter Dan Walker at The Vox, located in Resorts World at the Birmingham NEC recognised leadership, innovation and outstanding achievement across every aspect of groundscare – from grassroots pitches to professional stadia.
The prestigious awards ceremony also celebrated the quality standards of groundscare achieved in public and private sports venues, and highlighted the progress of young/student grounds professionals as well as entrants’ environmental considerations.
The winners of the 2019 GMA Industry Awards are:
GMA Toro Most Promising Sports Turf Student of the Year
Callum Allsop, Leicester City FC
GMA Rigby Taylor/Top Green Young Grounds Person of the Year
Nick Pepper, Gloucestershire CCC
GMA Volunteer Sports Grounds Team/Individual of the Year
Andy Cambridge, Foxton FC, Cambridgeshire
GMA National Governing Bodies’ Community Sector Sports Club Grounds Team/Individual of the Year
Harborough Town FC, Leicestershire
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, the RFL (Rugby Football League), RFU (Rugby Football Union) and Sport England
GMA AMS Robotics Public Sector Sports Grounds Team of the Year
Prestige Grounds Ltd, Wiltshire
GMA Bowling Grounds Team/Individual of the Year
Polly Bowls Club, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire
GMA SCH Supplies Best Managed Artificial Sports Surface of the Year
University of Warwick
GMA Ransomes Environmental/Ecology Project of the Year
City Football Academy, Manchester
GMA Headland Amenity Professional Cricket Grounds Team of the Year
GMA CubCadet INFINICUT Professional Tennis Courts Grounds Team of the Year
Devonshire Park, Eastbourne
GMA John Deere Professional Horse Racing Grounds Team of the Year
GMA Professional Rugby Football League Grounds Team of the Year
Castleford Tigers RLFC, West Yorkshire
GMA Compo Expert Professional Rugby Football Union Grounds Team of the Year
Northampton Saints RFC
GMA 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)
Swindon Town FC
GMA SGL Professional Football Grounds Team or the Year (Premier League, Championship and Scottish Premier League)
Tottenham Hotspur FC
GMA Redexim Charterhouse/Kubota University/College Grounds Team of the Year
GMA Growth Products Independent School Grounds Team of the Year
Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh
GMA SISGrass International Award
Dean Gilasbey, ProPitch
GMA Ransomes/DLF Johnsons Alex R Millar Groundsperson Award – chosen from the outstanding winner across all award categories
Danny Negus, Devonshire Park, Eastbourne
GMA GrassMaster Solutions Outstanding Achievement Awards
Keith Kent, former head groundsman at RFU Twickenham
hris Wood England and Wales Cricket Board pitch inspector.
Commenting, GMA chief executive Geoff Webb, says: “We’ve enjoyed a glorious year of professional sport, especially a summer of outstanding cricket, and this has highlighted the crucial role played by high-class playing surfaces – and, therefore, also our superb groundscare skills.
“Our awards, however, also acknowledge the unstinting work of the army of volunteers who maintain grassroots pitches up and down the country, often on very limited budgets, to enable players of all abilities and ages to enjoy sport on well-prepared pitches.
“Yet again we have seen how fantastic our profession is, and I applaud everyone and thank them for their efforts in creating playing surfaces that are the envy of the world.”
 The 2019 GMA Industry Awards are sponsored by the AELTC (All England Lawn Tennis Club), AMS Robotics, Compo Expert, Cub Cadet, DLF, ECB (the England and Wales Cricket Board), The FA (Football Association), Grassmaster, Growth Products, John Deere, Kubota, the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association), the Premier League, Ransomes, Redexim Charterhouse, Rigby Taylor, the RFU (Rugby Football Union), the RFL (Rugby Football League), SCH Supplies, SGL Lighting, SISGrass, Top Green and Toro.
Full details of each award winner, as well as photos of them receiving their awards, are available from Colin Hoskins: E: firstname.lastname@example.org