The Groundsman

May 2015

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GROW WITH THE IOG 26 the Groundsman May 2015 Visit for more information and digital editions hat attracted you to a career in groundsmanship? As a keen cricketer, I naturally wanted to become a professional player but as this didn't materialise I began to get involved with looking after my club's ground, which I enjoyed. What experience did you have before joining The Hurlingham Club in 2014? I spent about 18 months as a volunteer at Rainham CC and helped out at Dartford FC for a couple of weeks to 'sample' football pitch maintenance. W Michael moves up a level… Michael Crew, apprentice groundsman at The Hurlingham Club and Young IOG Board member, highlights how his IOG Apprenticeship aligns with his role at the club and his industry aspirations By: Gary Armstrong What does your IOG apprenticeship entail? It is based around my full-time role at The Hurlingham Club, with work-based learning/training and assessment. I am about half-way through my Level 2 qualification in Sports Turf Management which involves preparing the ground for seeding/turfing, maintaining sports turf, mowing, spraying, marking, being aware of turf pests and diseases, as well as using and maintaining a range of turf grass equipment. I'm fully supported in my apprenticeship by the club, and the IOG's approach to training and assessment is ideal – there's plenty of support from my assessor (Gary Armstrong) and the IOG team. Assessment days are planned ahead and delivered on a one-to-one basis at my place of work, which is good. Importantly, too, the structure of the apprenticeship means everyone can quickly see what stage I am at. Please explain your duties for a typical day/week at the club My day starts at 7am, removing dew on playing surfaces. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are spent mowing croquet lawns with pedestrian machines then after lunch, on a cricket week, mowing and rolling for the weekend game. Covers go on every night; the weather forecast is studied and conditions monitored. On Thursday, there's marking out of the crease on the strip/wicket, and on Friday, it's final preparation on the wicket, which includes mowing and rolling; in the afternoon the outfield is cut. I get involved in all of these operations and my role alternates from week to week. The croquet and bowling green teams alternate – I am given lawns 1, 3 and 5 to mow; another team member will cut lawns 2, 4 and 6. All have to be mowed and ready for play by 10am. What part of your work do you enjoy the most? The end result – the presentation of the sports surface when it's ready for play. What are your career aspirations? To ultimately become a head Michael, (pictured fifth from the left) is part of a team of 20 at The Hurlingham Club

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