Tigers up for top award!

Posted: Wednesday 30th August 2017 - 10:17 AM

For the fourth year running Castleford Tigers have been shortlisted for the Professional Rugby Football League Grounds Team of the Year Award.

Head Groundman Stuart Vause is delighted to make the shortlist once again: "I'm so proud to have been shortlisted for this fantastic award again. This is the fourth year in a row, since I've been in this role, that we've made the final shortlist and I'm extremely proud for our club to be up there with the best. To win would mean everything to me, it would be the pinnacle of my career. It would make all the hours we put in just mean that little bit more."

Castleford Tigers players were the first to congratulate Stuart when they heard the news last night, with good luck messages flooding in:

Tigers captain Michael Shenton tweeted: Totally deserved buddy, it's a fantastic pitch to play on and proud to have you as part of our team #champion

Oliver Holmes joined in on Twitter last night: 100% hardest working, kindest bloke knocking about. Never mind how talented with how our pitch looks!

Stuart added: "The comments I received last night on social media absolutely blew me away, and I'm still receiving them this morning. I'm so proud to be part of this fantastic club."  

Now in it's ninth year, the awards – which enjoy headline sponsorship by Rigby Taylor and Top Green – acknowledge the passion, dedication and challenges faced by grounds staff, volunteers and professionals across all levels of sport.

“Once again we have enjoyed a record-breaking entry to the awards,” says IOG chief executive, Geoff Webb. “Nominations this year rose by 93 per cent, which illustrates the esteem in which our industry – from all corners of the UK - holds the awards.

“The judges, all of whom are groundsmen, were particularly impressed with the quality of the submissions. In fact, the standard of nominations improves year-on-year.

“Everyone who has been nominated should be recognised, regardless of whether they make the shortlist or, indeed, go on to be named as winners. It just shows the range and dedication of those working at both professional and volunteer level, day in and day out in all weathers to ensure our sports men and women, young and old, have available an increasingly higher standard of playing surfaces.”

Geoff added: “The awards would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors, and these companies and organisations have enabled the event to become a landmark event every year.

“The industry’s support is invaluable and it has created the conditions for a sell-out event and one that enjoys national and regional TV, radio, social media and press coverage.”

Independent judging at each venue will now take place. The winners will be announced Oscar-style at the IOG Industry Awards dinner by host Mark Saggers from talkSPORT radio at the National Conference Centre, Birmingham, on Wednesday 1 November – the evening of the opening day of the SALTEX exhibition at the nearby NEC.

The finalists are:

Bowling Greenkeeper/Team of the Year
Burnham Hillside Bowls Club, Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex; Potters Bar Bowls Club, Hertfordshire.

Best Maintained Artificial Pitch of the Year
Highfields Sports Complex - The University of Nottingham; Manchester City FC.

Ransomes Environmental/Innovative Project of the Year
Arsenal FC; Forest Green Rovers FC.

Toro Most Promising Sports Turf Student of the Year 
Ollie Deeming, Bury St. Edmunds RUFC, Suffolk; Tara Massey, Manchester City FC.

Redexim Charterhouse/Kubota Volunteer Sports Groundsman/Team of the Year
Phillip Swann, Bridge Trust Society, Birmingham; Phil Toy, Wingerworth JSA FC, Chesterfield, Derbyshire.

National Governing Bodies Grassroots Sports Grounds Team of the Year
Darlington CC; NPL Sports Club, Teddington, Middlesex.

Headland Amenity Professional Cricket Grounds Team of the Year
Durham CCC; Hampshire CCC, Southampton.

Infinicut (MTD) Professional Tennis Grounds Team of the Year
All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon; Nottingham Tennis Centre.

SGL Professional Football Grounds Team or the Year (Premier League, Championship and Scottish Premier League)
Arsenal FC; Leicester City FC; Tottenham Hotspur FC.

SISGrass Professional Football Grounds Team of the Year (English Leagues 1 & 2, National, National North/South, Scottish Championship & Leagues 1 & 2, Ireland & Wales Professional Leagues) 
Bury FC, Greater Manchester; Dagenham and Redbrige FC, London.

John Deere Professional Horse Racing Grounds Team of the Year
Nottingham Racecourse; Ripon Racecourse; Sandown Park Racecourse.

Mansfield Sand Professional Rugby Football League Grounds Team of the Year
Castleford Tigers, West Yorkshire; Leeds Rugby (Leeds Rhinos).

GrassMaster Professional Rugby Football Union Grounds Team of the Year
Sale Sharks, Salford; Yorkshire Carnegie (Leeds Rugby).

National Governing Bodies Professional Sports Grounds Team of the Year
All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon; Chelsea FC; Manchester City FC.

Rigby Taylor/Top Green Young Groundsman of the Year
Alex Brierley, All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon; Jake Messenger, Tottenham Hotspur FC; James Wood, Manchester City FC.

Growth Products Independent School/University/College Grounds Team of the Year
Charterhouse School, Surrey; University of Surrey.

Private Members Sports Club Grounds Team of the Year
Darlington CC; The Queen's Club, London.

Contractor of the Year
Premier Pitches, Sheffield; TurfDry, Derbyshire.

International Ambassador of the Year
Simon Gumbrill, Stadium Grow Lighting; Dean Gilasbey, Propitch. 

Special Recognition Award (Professional Category)
Paul Burgess, Real Madrid CF; Andy Jackson, Stoke City FC.

Special Recognition Award (Volunteer Category)
Peter Green, Honley Cricket Club, Holmfirth, Huddersfield; Mick Oldfield, Sherriff Hutton Bridge Cricket Club, York.


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