FOOTBALL: Award for Kilsby Lane groundsmen

Charles Reed (Sport England)  with Rugby Town JFCs John Robottom, Brian Crinigan, Jason Morris, Mick Frankish, Shane Davies and Brian Dainty
Charles Reed (Sport England) with Rugby Town JFCs John Robottom, Brian Crinigan, Jason Morris, Mick Frankish, Shane Davies and Brian Dainty

Recognition for Rugby Town Junior FC team

The dedication and skill of the volunteer grounds team at Rugby Town Junior FC has earned them national recognition.

The Institute of Groundsmanship, a leading body involved in the promotion and recognition of groundscare professionalism throughout the country, awarded RTJFC the National Governing Bodies’ Grassroots Sports Ground Team of the Year, at its recent ceremony at the National Motorcycle Museum.

Other award winners included the Ricoh Arena, Wembley Stadium, St George’s Park and The All England Lawn Tennis Club Wimbledon.

Rugby Town Junior FC’s 35-acre site at Kilsby Lane consists of 35 grass football pitches, including some marked for 5v5 and 9v9 games and the new £500k 3G artificial surface which was officially opened last week. They are all maintained by one part-time groundsman, who works 15 hours a week, plus a team of three volunteers.

They also look after the clubhouse and car park.

The club’s Head of Grounds Jason Morris said: “This is an amazing win for us as a small club with a three-man team of volunteers, especially when you look at the other winners.

“Mick, Shane and John put in a tremendous effort to keep our facilities at their best all year round, and this award is recognition of that.”

Rugby Town contested the award with Chorley Panthers RLFC in Lancashire, and NPL Sports Club, Teddington.

The awards are judged by an independent panel on criteria that includes effective use of resources, budgetary control, presentation and housekeeping standards, as well as environmental considerations. IOG chief executive Geoff Webb, said: “With a record number of entries, this year’s awards continue to demonstrate the skills and passion of groundsmanship throughout the UK, at both voluntary and professional level. Winning an award against such stiff competition is testament to the dedication of the grounds teams and individuals whose ability to produce and maintain ever-improving playing surfaces – which, in turn, also enables more games to take place - goes largely unnoticed.”