IOG Young Board Member To Promote Careers: Young entrepreneur Sam Cain has recently joined the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) Young Board of Directors, which is sponsored by Toro and Reesink Turfcare, to show young people the wide range of career opportunities available in the industry.
23-year-old Sam who has his own business specialising in line marking and playground design, says: “I’m really excited to begin my time on the board. Showing the range of career opportunities available within the sector will encourage young people to get more involved, at the moment I think the perceived lack of options is a barrier. Ultimately, I want to redefine what being in groundscare means, and make people realise how many different options there are and how much choice there is; there are so many more options than just working at a football club for example.”
After having studied Graphic Design and Communication at Central Saint Martins, 23-year-old Sam recognised a gap in the market and began his own business creating innovative line marking designs for underused open spaces in schools and public areas. His business, Cain Markings, now designs, produces and maintains high-quality line markings for a host of surfaces and venues. Sam credits the experience and skills he gained at university in helping him succeed, and his Dad, who worked his way up in groundscare from an apprentice to an operations director, as his biggest inspiration.
Sam says: “I’ve grown up around groundscare, so it’s always been in my blood. It hasn’t been an easy ride starting my own business. It’s been a challenge and a huge learning curve, but I don’t regret it one bit. I really enjoy my work; it’s so rewarding to be able to see a process through from beginning to end. Helping the client by coming up with innovative ways to solve problems and seeing how happy they are with the finished result provides so much job satisfaction.
“Joining the IOG Young Board of Directors in November 2018 has opened up a lot of opportunities already. Everyone on the board brings something different which collectively we hope will improve the industry and help shape it for the future. I hope for my contribution to be helping change perceptions of exactly what being a groundsman entails.
“When you look at the board, it’s mostly made up of groundsmen at football clubs, so I’m one of the odd ones out. My involvement in the business side should go some way to show there are lots of opportunities and career paths you can take in grounds! There are also jobs and opportunities in technology and at other sports venues such as tennis and basketball courts.”
Sam also feels compelled to promote the difference the younger grounds generation can bring to the industry: “The industry is predominantly made up of an older generation and while many are really supportive of the young ones coming through, there’s always more we can do to promote their ideas and contribution within the sector, to make sure their voice is heard and taken seriously.”
David Cole, Reesink Turfcare’s managing director says: “The reason we got involved in sponsoring the board was to give people like Sam as much of a voice to help promote the benefits of a career in grounds as they feel will make a difference. It’s one of the most important things we can do as a company in a position to provide sponsorship. The young generation has so much passion for their sector and this will only help inspire others and help break down any barriers that exist.”
Geoff Webb, IOG CEO, says: “It’s great to see new faces on the IOG Young Board of Directors. The whole point of this group is to enable young aspiring people to showcase this industry and be an advocate for the profession. It’s pleasing to see so many who have gone on to key roles in the industry such as Leicester City FC’s John Ledwidge – the original chairman of the group. It’s a good network and affords great opportunity to network, learn and advance a young career.”
Sam concludes by saying: “If you’re enthusiastic and prepared to work hard, you can get really far in this industry. I would recommend volunteering or work experience to get a taste of what it’s really like. I would also advise considering educational routes where possible. University was a great experience for me and taught me how to manage my time and run projects which prepared me for the working world.”
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