The Groundsman

January 2013

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the Groundsman January 2013 PROFILE : BUILD YOUR BUSINESS 31 Domestic lawns get Premier treatment Homeowners in the south east of England are benefitting from the high levels of turf care experience and expertise being applied to their lawns by two former sports turf groundsmen Author: Ellie Parry unning Lawn Master franchises in areas of Kent, Surrey and east Sussex, 31-year-old Jon Eves and 24-year-old Alix Ramsier are building successful domestic lawn care businesses using the knowledge accumulated during careers spanning a combined total of more than 22 years at professional sporting venues. Before taking up their franchises in February 2011 and March 2012 respectively, both Jon and Alix had been working at Chelsea FC's Cobham Training Centre in Surrey. Jon had risen to the position of assistant head groundsman, overseeing a team of 10 staff looking after 32 natural grass training pitches. When Jon left the club in 2011, many of his former responsibilities passed to Alix who, at the age of 23, was appointed a team leader - becoming one of the youngest groundsmen to hold such a post at a Premier League club. For the following 12 months, Alix worked at Cobham maintaining and preparing training pitches. He was also occasionally called to assist with pitch preparation at the Stamford Bridge stadium. R Alix aerates a lawn for one of his domestic clients Roots of knowledge Jon Eve's interest in turf-related matters began in his early teens when he would help his dad look after the lawn at home. While still at school in the mid-'90s, he secured grounds maintenance work experience at Eltham College in south east London. "I enjoyed it so much I knew I was destined for a career in turf," he says. "When I left school, I enrolled at Kent's Hadlow College, studying for a BTEC Diploma in Horticulture with the add-on sports turf option." A six-week work placement at nearby Mid Kent Golf Club during his college year convinced him that he would be more likely to find his first full-time job at a golf course rather than at a professional football club, his preferred choice. t During that year, Alix remained in regular contact with Jon, who told him about the progress of the franchise and the resulting changes in work-life balance. Sold on the idea, Alix made the decision to take on his own franchise, becoming a self-employed lawn care specialist in March 2012 and he, too, is now also building a solid customer base. Visit for more information and digital editions

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