The Groundsman

June 2014

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IOG BEST PRACTICE 16 the Groundsman June 2014 Visit for more information and digital editions s head groundsman at One Leisure's St Ives (Cambridgeshire) multi-sports site, 31-year-old Rob Bradshaw displays an extraordinary thirst for knowledge and a ferver for continual improvement in everything he does – to the extent that in addition to maintaining the 52-acre site, he will spend his spare time: • Visiting other sporting events/venues to view ("not inspect", he is keen to add) their playing surfaces and to speak to the groundsmen involved; • Working with the matchday team at Wembley Stadium; • Organising training courses (predominantly for the IOG); • Carrying out his duties as education officer for the Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire Grounds Association; A If there were an award for dedication to the profession of groundsmanship - and a passion to communicate the benefits of best practice - then Rob Bradshaw would surely be in the running for it, as Colin Hoskins discovered By: Colin Hoskins • Communicating with his peers via social media. "I will do anything and everything I can do to improve my knowledge and skill sets," says Rob. The St Ives site – the only facility in One Leisure's six-site portfolio of facilities in Huntingdonshire that has outdoor sports – incorporates football (nine natural pitches), a rugby pitch, a full-sized sand- filled artificial surface (with grade 30 dried silica sand), 24 cricket wickets over two squares and an athletics stadium (400m track, three run-up jumps, high jump and javelin area), as well as a full-size rubber crumb 3G synthetic surface. It is the maintenance and management of the latter that made Rob the winner of the 2013 IOG Kubota/Redexim Charterhouse Best Maintained Artificial Pitch Award. Indeed, in terms of winning the award, he says he is extremely grateful for the help and advice from Replay Maintenance's Gary Martin and Steve Spence, as well as Redexim Charterhouse's Curtis Allen and former IOG regional advisor Allan Moore. Rob is helped on a weekly basis by Mark 'Tom' Thompson, who usually spends around 20 hours a week on the site. One Leisure is managed by Huntingdonshire District Council and it is the in-house leisure provider for the council. "The maintenance of natural pitches and synthetic surfaces demands totally different skills, of course," Rob continues. "I do get more reward from maintaining Real rewards from an artificial surface The GB and England amputee football team train on One Leisure's 3G surface before they travel to the World Cup

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