Edgbaston Priory Club has won the IOG Professional Tennis Grounds Team of the Year Award at the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) Industry Awards, held in partnership with the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA).
In a prestigious ceremony at Milton Keynes’ stadiummk hosted by talkSPORT Radio presenter Mark Saggers, the award was presented to the Edgbaston team in front of an audience of more than 400 of the UK’s and Europe’s leading groundscare experts, as well as dignitaries from the governing bodies of sport and influential sports administrators.
The Edgbaston Priory Club’s five-strong groundscare team expertly maintains a total of 14 acres, including eight championship standard grass courts, seven synthetic carpet courts, four clay, eight indoor Plexi-Pave courts and three tarmac surfaces.
The team – which every year lives on-site during the build up to Aegon Classic tournament, so that they are on hand virtually 24/7 – also look after the Club’s ornamental lawns, trees and shrubs, borders and hedges, and on one occasion completed the planting of more than 2,500 shrubs plus undertook a substantial amount of turfing during one of their busiest periods.
However, the standard of the tennis courts didn’t falter, thus maintaining the team’s ethos of achieving courts that perform similarly to those at Wimbledon.
The prestigious UK-wide IOG Award scheme highlights the high standards of volunteer and professional grounds professionals and facilities, from grass roots to professional stadia level. Embracing categories of entry covering sport, young people and the environment, the awards are judged by an independent panel on criteria that include effective use of resources, budgetary control, presentation and housekeeping standards, as well as environmental considerations.
Commenting on the high standard of award winners, IOG chief executive Geoff Webb, says: “This year’s winners demonstrate the high standards of groundsmanship within the UK. To win the award against such stiff competition is testament to the skill and dedication of the teams and individuals who – week in, week out in all weathers – make such a vital contribution to sport.”
The IOG is the leading membership organisation for everyone involved in the management of sports pitches, landscape and amenity facilities.