The Groundsman

February 2013

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18 IOG BEST PRACTICE the Groundsman February 2013 The Final of the Gentlemen's Singles Roger Federer (SUI) v Andy Murray (GBR). Image Courtesy of AELTC Eddie's lifetime of achievement Eddie Seaward, recently retired head groundsman of the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (AELTC) and the 2012 winner of the IOG Cleveland Land Services/AFT Trenchers Lifetime Achievement Award, reflects on his half-centuary career in the groundscare industry Author: Colin Hoskins f anybody had told Eddie Seaward what his career in groundsmanship would have evolved into – manmanager, communicator and business/finance practitioner, as well as turf science professional – he says he probably would never have entered the industry. "The thought would have scared the life out of me," he says. Thankfully, no crystal ball gazing or fortune telling intervened and he can now reflect on a successful groundscare career that has spanned 53 years including, most notably, the last 22 years prior to retirement as head groundsman at the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (AELTC). I Home to the Wimbledon Championships, the global sporting spectacle clearly enabled Eddie to spotlight the achievements and expertise of grounds professionals. As the world's media looked on, his presence in front of the TV cameras, on the radio and in the national press has done much to boost recognition of his fellow professionals and the industry as a whole. World-class standards Apart from a slight hiccup at the start of his career when, as part of the grounds team at an independent boarding school, he says he became disillusioned with the job and "seriously, for a moment at least, Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions considered a role in retail", Eddie has clearly established an enviable reputation as a grounds professional, especially during the past two decades. While his role at Wimbledon has most notably highlighted his involvement in the construction of the new Number One Court and, more recently, the redevelopment of Centre Court with its retractable roof – in 2008 he was awarded an MBE for Services to Sport – he has also focused on maintaining the high standards that have set Wimbledon's playing surfaces apart. Years of dedicated hard work and deeply-involved research and development have been invested by Eddie and his team.

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