The finalists have been announced from a record-breaking entry to this year’s Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) Industry Awards 2017.
Now in its ninth year, the awards sets out to acknowledge the passion, dedication and challenges faced by grounds staff, volunteers and professionals across all levels of sport.
Geoff Webb, chief executive of IOG, said: “Once again we have enjoyed a record-breaking entry to the awards. Nominations this year rose by 93%, which illustrates the esteem in which our industry – from all corners of the UK – holds the awards.
“Everyone who has been nominated should be recognised, regardless of whether they make the shortlist or, indeed, go on to be named as winners.”
Independent judging at each venue will now take place. The winners will be announced Oscar-style at the IOG Industry Awards dinner by host Mark Saggers from talkSPORT radio at the National Conference Centre, Birmingham, on Wednesday 1 November – the evening of the opening day of the SALTEX exhibition at the nearby NEC.
The finalists are:
Bowling Greenkeeper/Team of the Year
Burnham Hillside Bowls Club, Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex; Potters Bar Bowls Club, Hertfordshire.
Best Maintained Artificial Pitch of the Year
Highfields Sports Complex – The University of Nottingham; Manchester City FC.
Ransomes Environmental/Innovative Project of the Year
Arsenal FC; Forest Green Rovers FC.
Toro Most Promising Sports Turf Student of the Year
Ollie Deeming, Bury St. Edmunds RUFC, Suffolk; Tara Massey, Manchester City FC.
Redexim Charterhouse/Kubota Volunteer Sports Groundsman/Team of the Year
Phillip Swann, Bridge Trust Society, Birmingham; Phil Toy, Wingerworth JSA FC, Chesterfield, Derbyshire.
National Governing Bodies Grassroots Sports Grounds Team of the Year
Darlington CC; NPL Sports Club, Teddington, Middlesex.
Headland Amenity Professional Cricket Grounds Team of the Year
Durham CCC; Hampshire CCC, Southampton.
Infinicut (MTD) Professional Tennis Grounds Team of the Year
All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon; Nottingham Tennis Centre.
SGL Professional Football Grounds Team or the Year (Premier League, Championship and Scottish Premier League)
Arsenal FC; Leicester City FC; Tottenham Hotspur FC.
SISGrass Professional Football Grounds Team of the Year (English Leagues 1 & 2, National, National North/South, Scottish Championship & Leagues 1 & 2, Ireland & Wales Professional Leagues)
Bury FC, Greater Manchester; Dagenham and Redbrige FC, London.
John Deere Professional Horse Racing Grounds Team of the Year
Nottingham Racecourse; Ripon Racecourse; Sandown Park Racecourse.
Mansfield Sand Professional Rugby Football League Grounds Team of the Year
Castleford Tigers, West Yorkshire; Leeds Rugby (Leeds Rhinos).
GrassMaster Professional Rugby Football Union Grounds Team of the Year
Sale Sharks, Salford; Yorkshire Carnegie (Leeds Rugby).
National Governing Bodies Professional Sports Grounds Team of the Year
All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon; Chelsea FC; Manchester City FC.
Rigby Taylor/Top Green Young Groundsman of the Year
Alex Brierley, All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon; Jake Messenger, Tottenham Hotspur FC; James Wood, Manchester City FC.
Growth Products Independent School/University/College Grounds Team of the Year
Charterhouse School, Surrey; University of Surrey.
Private Members Sports Club Grounds Team of the Year
Darlington CC; The Queen’s Club, London.
Contractor of the Year
Premier Pitches, Sheffield; TurfDry, Derbyshire.
International Ambassador of the Year
Simon Gumbrill, Stadium Grow Lighting; Dean Gilasbey, Propitch.
Special Recognition Award (Professional Category)
Paul Burgess, Real Madrid CF; Andy Jackson, Stoke City FC.
Special Recognition Award (Volunteer Category)
Peter Green, Honley Cricket Club, Holmfirth, Huddersfield; Mick Oldfield, Sherriff Hutton Bridge Cricket Club, York.