THE search is on to find Suffolk’s Groundsman of the Year 2019 which will once again by sponsored by Ransomes.
The competition is open to clubs in the county who play at Step 7 and below – The FA run separate competitions nationally for clubs playing at Step 6 and above.
The winning club will receive £200 to be spent on groundscare equipment, with the runner-up receiving £100 and third-placed groundsman £50. All three will be invited to attend the Suffolk FA Awards Ceremony to receive their prizes.
This is the third year that the competition has been sponsored by Ransomes and Director of Global Marketing Karen Proctor said: “We are pleased to be able to sponsor the award again this year.
“It is important that groundsmanship is recognised and rewarded at all levels of the football pyramid, and we are proud to support local groundsmen and women who dedicate their own time to provide facilities for the community.
“I would urge all eligible clubs to nominate their groundsman for the award; it is a fantastic way to show your appreciation for the work that they do and acknowledge the time and effort put into preparing playing surfaces. We look forward to celebrating Suffolk Groundsmanship throughout 2019!”
Suffolk FA Football Development Manager Jodie Allard said: “The Groundsman of the Year competition is a fantastic opportunity to recognise and reward the hard work of grounds teams across the county. Thank you again to Ransomes for their invaluable support with the competition.
“The majority of groundsmen within the grassroots game are volunteers who dedicate many hours of their time – come wind, rain or shine – to giving players the opportunity to play football on well-maintained football pitches.
“If you have a hard-working individual or team at your club who takes care of your football pitches, I would urge you to put them forward for this year’s competition.
“We look forward to visiting all of the entries again this season to judge what will I am sure be another competitive and high-quality competition.”
To enter please complete the below entry form and return to Nick Garnham, Marketing & Communications Officer, Suffolk FA, Bill Steward House, The Buntings, Kestrel Drive, Stowmarket IP14 5GZ or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The closing date for entries is 5pm on Wednesday, February 6th 2019. Judging will take place sometime in the fortnight thereafter.
Pictured above signing the sponsorship contract are Ransomes Director of Global Marketing Karen Proctor and Suffolk FA Chief Executive Richard Neal.
Suffolk, along with each county FA, will collate their nominations and submit their top three applications to The FA, with the winner going forward for judging at the national stage of the competition and undergo independent adjudication.
Now in their 12th year, The FA’s Groundsmen of the Year awards were set up to recognise the contribution of these unsung heroes of the grassroots game and encourage the development of groundsmanship.
The majority of football in this country is played outside the Football League. Quality pitches are therefore essential for the development of football at every level. Grassroots groundsman, the vast majority of whom are volunteers, play a huge role in ensuring pitches are in their best possible condition, week in, week out.
The Awards were set up to recognise the contribution of these ‘unsung heroes’, who work in all weather, all year round, to make sure that thousands of matches can take place on a high standard of playing surface.