Sponsorship so far includes support from the FA, the FA Premier League, Barclays Spaces For Sport Programme, CCPR (Central Council of Physical Recreation), the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board), the Football Foundation, DLF Trifolium and Ransomes Jacobsen – industry heavyweights all committed to an event designed to recognise the important contribution by grounds care staff to the sustainability of British sport and best-practice grounds care across a multitude of disciplines and technologies.
The IOG Industry Awards 2009 will acknowledge the high standards achieved by a wide range of volunteer and professional grounds care skills and facilities – from grass roots to professional stadia level, and the winners results will be announced Oscar-style at the Emirates Stadium, London, on 15 October 2009 as part of the IOG’s National Conference.
Rowena Luscombe, Global Community Sports Sponsorship Manager at Barclays, comments: “Ensuring the 200 sports sites we’ve created across the UK have a sustainable future is critical to the success of the Barclays Spaces for Sports programme. We’re very grateful to the IOG for the support it has given us with our sustainability work, and we’re delighted to be supporting these awards.”
David Withers, Managing Director of Ransomes Jacobsen, says: “We are delighted to be a sponsor of the inaugural IOG Industry Awards. Everyone in the grounds care sector has a duty to promote the professionalism of the people within it, especially the groundsmen and women who are dedicated to preparing the very best playing surfaces – from the local playing field to the most prestigious stadia in the world.
“As one of the leading turf maintenance equipment manufacturers, Ransomes Jacobsen applauds the IOG for its initiative and we look forward to the presentation ceremony.”
Commenting on the high level of interest shown in the Awards, IOG Chief Executive Geoff Webb says: “It is clear that these Awards are just what the industry has been waiting for, judging by the type of organisations that have pledged sponsorship as well as the number of entries we have already received.
“Also, the fact that the Awards will be taking place at one of the world’s best stadia will lead to heightened opportunities for wider public recognition of our industry.”
The Awards – the first all-encompassing award programme for the industry – embrace four broad categories of entry covering Sport, Grass Roots, Young IOG and General, comprising:
• The Groundsman’s Groundsman of the Year – peer nomination – recognising the very best of the sports turf management industry
• Spectator Sports Ground of the Year – recognising the exceptional management and maintenance processes undertaken to produce the UK’s very best professional sports ground
• Independent School Sports Ground of the Year – recognising teams or individuals who produce high standards of multi- sport surfaces for school sports in the private education sector
• Best Maintained Artificial Pitch of the Year – recognising the skills required for the maintenance and management of a safe and sustainable artificial surface
• Professional Sports Grounds Management Team of the Year – recognising the outstanding results achieved through team work in grounds care
• Public Sector Sports Ground of the Year – recognising teams or individuals, in local authority employment, who produce high standards of sports surfaces for public use.
• Grass Roots Sports Ground of the Year – recognising grounds staff who produce high standards of playing surfaces at a grass roots level – often contending with low maintenance budgets and high amateur usage throughout the year
• Volunteer Sports Grounds Management Team of the Year – recognising the exceptional skills and commitment of a volunteer grounds management team to achieve outstanding results through team work in a sports club at grass roots level
• Volunteer Sports Groundsman of the Year – recognising the exceptional skill and commitment of a volunteer to producing quality playing surfaces at a grass roots level.
• Most Promising Sports Turf Student of the Year – recognising the effort and potential of full-time or part-time sports turf students both in terms of practical application and theoretical knowledge of the profession
• Young Groundsman of the Year – recognising the very best of the new crop of young grounds professionals (16-24 year olds) who have already made their mark on the industry.
• Environmental Project of the Year – recognising the particular consideration given to environmental matters when constructing or maintaining a new or existing sports ground or open green space, or the operations and applications undertaken to maintain the area
• Employer of the Year – recognising forward thinking, progressive employers in the grounds care industry who encourage ongoing learning and skills updating, provide appropriate levels of support and investment into the ground and include the grounds staff in key decision making that will impact on the ground
• Innovation in Grounds Maintenance – recognising innovative solutions to overcoming maintenance problems in grounds care
• Public sector outdoor facility of the year – recognising the skills and expertise of grounds professionals who maintain publicly used facilities, including parks and gardens, to the highest standard
• Lifetime Achievement of the Year – recognising the outstanding contribution of an individual to the industry.