The Groundsman

November 2012

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28 MULTI-SPORTS the Groundsman November 2012 Top of the class David Roberts: "People will never be motivated if you shout at them" Colin Hoskins travelled to leafy Surrey to meet David Roberts, Grounds Manager at Charterhouse School, to find out why Charterhouse won the 2011 IOG Industry Award for Best Independent Schools & Colleges Sports Ground of the Year When David Roberts arrived at Charterhouse School for an 'informal chat' about becoming the new Grounds Manager, he knew "almost immediately that this was the job for me". Meeting Dale Gleed, the outgoing Grounds Manger who was moving onto pastures new, David says the Charterhouse wow factor had him in its grips as soon as he entered the school gates. However that's not an uncommon reaction by visitors to the independent school in Godalming; apart from a very impressive set of school buildings (see panel item, page 31), the feast of sports surfaces at the 250-acre site are more than enough to satisfy the appetite – and aspirations – of any grounds professional. It features: • A 30-acre, nine-hole golf course (plus a new par 3 course and competition tees) • One sand-dressed hockey pitch (recently added to by two sand- dressed all-weather pitches built by Smith Construction) • Eight cricket squares – 70 strips • 16 football pitches • One ladies lacrosse pitch • One rugby pitch • 24 tennis courts • 13 artificial cricket nets • Two infield artificial cricket strips • A six-lane tartan running track. In addition, the site has 55 acres of formal lawns and gardens plus 80 acres of woodland. The job, David discovered, embraces not only the responsibility for the management and maintenance of these facilities but also the maintenance of various school- owned houses and flats off site, as well as the provision of assistance to local cricket and football clubs - in terms of machinery loans as well as advice on grounds maintenance and management regimes.

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