Rhinos groundstaff nominated for top industry awards
The Headingley Carnegie ground staff will be hoping to make it a hat trick of titles after being nominated once again for the IOG Mansfield Sand Professional Rugby Football League Grounds Team of the Year, a title they have won in the last two years at the prestigious IOG Awards.
The IOG industry-wide Annual Awards, which recognise the important contribution made by groundscare staff in raising industry standards and encouraging greater professionalism within the industry.
The groundstaff team, which is headed up by head groundsman Ryan Golding, look after the main pitch at Headingley Carnegie which both Leeds Rhinos and Yorkshire Carnegie play on, and the training pitches at Kirkstall. The team, which also includes Lewis Pattinson, Leon Pearson and Dan Connor look after the training ground at Kirkstall as well as the pitch at the stadium. Once again they will be up against Castleford Tigers for the title as in the last two seasons.
The team have been recognised in both Rugby League and Rugby Union categories, with a nominations for GrassMaster Professional Rugby Football Union Grounds Team of the Year where they will be up against another dual code pitch in Sale Sharks AJ Bell Stadium.
Now in its ninth year, the awards – which enjoy headline sponsorship by Rigby Taylor and Top Green – acknowledge the passion, dedication and challenges faced by grounds staff, volunteers and professionals across all levels of sport.
“Once again we have enjoyed a record-breaking entry to the awards,” says IOG chief executive, Geoff Webb. “Nominations this year rose by 93 per cent, which illustrates the esteem in which our industry – from all corners of the UK – holds the awards.
“The judges, all of whom are groundsmen, were particularly impressed with the quality of the submissions. In fact, the standard of nominations improves year-on-year.
“Everyone who has been nominated should be recognised, regardless of whether they make the shortlist or, indeed, go on to be named as winners. It just shows the range and dedication of those working at both professional and volunteer level, day in and day out in all weathers to ensure our sports men and women, young and old, have available an increasingly higher standard of playing surfaces.”
Geoff adds: “The awards would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors, and these companies and organisations have enabled the event to become a landmark event every year.
“The industry’s support is invaluable and it has created the conditions for a sell-out event and one that enjoys national and regional TV, radio, social media and press coverage.”
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.