The Groundsman

December 2014

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IOG BEST PRACTICE 15 the Groundsman December 2014 Visit for more information and digital editions Busy schedule at Ashbrooke That was in 2007 and Martin is still at the club today, progressing into the role of grounds assistant manager and having gained Levels 1, 2 and more recently the Level 3 work-based Horticulture/Sports Turf Diploma as part of an Advanced Apprenticeship (lack of finances is the only current barrier to him seeking accreditation to the Foundation Degree). He has also attended IOG training and development courses for bowls, cricket and football and, at 25 years of age, he won the 2013 IOG award for being the Most Promising Groundscare Student of the Year. In addition, he has just been announced as the 2014 IOG Rigby Taylor/Top Green Young Groundsman of the Year. The role at Ashbrooke has changed since Martin joined the team, which was originally three-strong but is now reduced to him with colleague Ron Boyd. What hasn't changed, however, is the size of the task at the 4.5 hectares facility sited on the outskirts of Sunderland city centre: • There are two rugby pitches – sown with Barenbrug Bar 7; • One full-size football pitch - Bar 7; • A cricket pitch - Bar Extreme; • Three artificial tennis courts/one five-a- side football pitch; and • A bowling green (Bar Medal). Martin and Ron manage and maintain all these surfaces, as well as the floodlights (fixed and portable). They also look after the changing rooms, squash courts and gym, for example, and maintain another rugby pitch on the neighbouring Ryhope Road ground. Aside from accommodating a host of local/member teams, Ashbrooke is also Sunderland University's 'home of sport' and has also hosted American football and Durham CCC second team games. The ground is in action seven days a week and endures a busy schedule. For rugby alone: three/four games on Saturdays and Sundays; Monday and Wednesday evenings, youngsters training; Tuesday and Thursday evenings, adult training; and a university game on Wednesdays. The ground is home to Sunderland RFC which has sections for seniors, juniors, ladies and mini, which all compete in the Durham County League structure. My Favourite Band: The Beatles My Favourite Book: On The Road by Jack Kerouac My Favourite Car: Aston Martin DB5 My Favourite Film: Quadrophenia Football Team: Sunderland AFC My interests outside of work: Cricket (Seaham Harbour CC), going to see live music and socialising with friends The most challenging part of my career: A multi-sports club is a daily challenge aiming for perfection Who I most admire in, or out, of the industry and why: Bert Boston because I wouldn't be where I am now without his support and guidance The best piece of advice I can give to IOG members: Be positive and professional at every opportunity; remember there is a great network of people in this industry who are happy to help. Facts and Favourites i Ashbrooke is Sunderland University's 'home of sport' and hosts American football and Durham CCC's second team t

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