The Groundsman

March 2015

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IOG BEST PRACTICE 26 the Groundsman March 2015 Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions fter securing suitable A Level grades, most of Dean Bryce's friends and family thought he would continue his studies at university. But rather than signing up for a degree course, like most of his friends did, Dean instead opted to join the family firm that specialises in sports ground maintenance – though at the same time also following a different academic path by steadily gaining a number of groundscare-related accreditations. On the one hand playing a key role in the continuing success of Sports Ground Services, Dean on the other A Dean Bryce: a model student Dean Bryce has wasted no time in gaining a variety of groundscare qualifications in the short time he has been in the industry, including a coveted IOG Industry Award By: Colin Hoskins has, within the last two years, already chalked up an impressive CV which includes the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) Foundation and Intermediate Cricket Courses, as well as the Level 2 Diploma in work-based Horticulture (Sports Turf – Groundsman). He is currently completing his Level 3 in this. According to his IOG tutor Gary Armstrong: "Dean has a great thirst for knowledge and for the science of turf management." So it's no surprise that Dean was last year voted the 2014 IOG Toro Most Promising Sportsturf Student of the Year. Hands on expertise "When the time came to leave school and either go to university or into work, it would have been easy to get carried away with the thought that 'I had to have a degree'," says Dean, aged 20 years. "But I'd already been working with my dad, Richard, during the holidays and at weekends, and I really enjoyed the outdoor-life helping to maintain cricket, football and rugby pitches, as well as athletics sites. In addition, I liked the idea of being able to earn money rather than leaving university with a large debt." He made his decision to join the family firm, in 2012, as assistant groundsman. He continues: "I finished my A levels in the May and started work a few months later working across all types of sports surfaces and have also helped out the matchday staff at MK Dons." Dean says he particularly enjoys looking after cricket pitches; perhaps that's because he's a keen cricketer and plays in the Buckinghamshire academy team. He is clearly following in his father's footsteps: Richard is first team captain at North Crawley Cricket Club and plays for the Bucks County Cricket Club Over 50s. "Being a player, too, means I can see all sides of the situation and with the seemingly enormous amount of scrutiny that cricket pitches are under nowadays I appreciate what goes into the preparation of a wicket. But I guess there'll always be players who are looking for an excuse and will criticise the pitch – usually when they've been bowled out," Dean says. Dean helps to maintain cricket, football and rugby pitches within his role in the family-run grounds maintenance business

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