The dedication and skills of Ashville College’s grounds staff has seen them being nominated for two prestigious industry Awards.
The 5-strong team has been put forward for the Independent Schools, University, Sports Ground Team of the Year, and Best Maintained Artificial Pitch of the Year in this year’s IOG (Institute of Groundsmanship) Industry Awards.
Ashville’s two nominations recognise the important contribution made by the team, led by head groundsman Kevin Whorley, in raising industry standards and encouraging professionalism within the industry.
And, should Ashville get through this first stage of the robust judging process, it will be subject to site visits carried out by an independent judge in September.
The winners will be announced Oscar-style at the IOG Industry Awards dinner, hosted by talkSPORT’s Mark Saggers at the Birmingham Metropole Hotel, on November 4.
Mr Whorley, who has worked at the independent school for 13 years, said: “It is a real honour for the team and the school to be nominated for these two important industry awards.
“We are very proud of our role at Ashville College, and it’s our job to ensure the school’s grounds not only look their best but also function at their best too.
“We are up against very strong competition and are hoping we can progress to the next round, which will be fantastic.”
Ashville College Headmaster Mark Lauder said: “It is a marvellous achievement for the grounds team to be nominated in not one but two categories.
“We are continually investing in our sporting provisions, and the latest project is reaching completions. This has seen the installation of a comprehensive drainage system to the 1st XV rugby pitch, which Kevin and his colleagues have been involved in from the outset.
“Everything they do is very much appreciated – they are out in all weathers and it is thanks to them that we have such outstanding pitches and grounds. I’m delighted their efforts are being rewarded by their industry colleagues.”
Ashville’s competition includes St Peter’s School, York; Giggleswick School, Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wakefield; and the Sports Park Weetwood at the University of Leeds.
The criteria for the two awards takes many factors into consideration, from health and safety and pitch presentation to Ashville’s involvement in the local sporting events and the overall appearance of the college.
All entries had to complete a nomination form in order to be considered. In the first stage of the judging process, the contenders are judged on the information supplied in the nomination form.