Tag Archive for: Awards

Nomination window for the LBEL Awards extended

Nomination window for the LBEL Awards extended: Earlier this spring, celebrity garden designer, Danny Clarke, along with Lantra and Landex, announced that the nomination window for the 2024 Land-Based and Environment Learner (LBEL) Awards were open.

So far, the Awards organisers are on course to receive a record number of inspirational nominations from tutors, lecturers, assessors, and employers.  All whilst delivering high quality education at a peak time for the Land Based Education Sector.

Nomination window for the LBEL Awards extended

Nomination window for the LBEL Awards extended

Due to popular demand and to factor in these challenges Lantra and Landex are extending the nomination deadline to 11:59pm on Sunday 30th June 2024

Therefore, they are urging employers, colleges, private training providers and universities to nominate outstanding candidates for a prestigious award before the end of the month.

Danny Clarke, who trained as a garden designer at Hadlow College said: “The quality of the nominations we have had so far is truly amazing. We know there’s been a lot happening in education in the last few months, so I am really pleased to see the deadline has been extended. I am really looking forward to a great evening, celebrating some incredible learners – so make sure you nominate your learners today!”

The Awards ceremony will be hosted by Danny Clarke on Thursday 21st November at the National Conference Centre in Birmingham. The evening is set to be an exciting celebration of talent in the land-based and environment sector.

To recap, the annual awards are open to individuals on a full-time or part-time Land-Based and Environment course or Apprenticeship in England between September 2022 and September 2024. The award categories include Agriculture; Aquaculture and Fisheries, Arboriculture; Forestry and Woodland Management; Equine and Farriery; Floristry; Landscape and Horticulture; Land-Based Engineering; Animal Care and Management; Veterinary Nursing; Environmental Conservation, Game and Wildlife; and Sports Turf and Greenkeeping.

Prizes for the above categories apply across Private Training providers, Further Education (FE), Apprenticeships Awards (Level 2-3), Higher Education (HE) and Higher Apprenticeship Awards (Level 4-7). This year we will be introducing a new category: Research Student of the Year, where supervisors are encouraged to nominate a student studying a post-graduate level either for a master’s degree or a Doctoral Degree.

There are overall prizes for: Research Student of the Year; Apprentice of the Year; Overall Winner; and Runners Up. Online entries are being encouraged, as the quicker and more sustainable option. However, paper copies of the nomination form are available on request, by emailing lbels@lantra.co.uk.

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Nomination window for the LBEL Awards extended

Nomination window for the LBEL Awards extended: Earlier this spring, celebrity garden designer, Danny Clarke, along with Lantra and Landex, announced that the nomination window for the 2024 Land-Based and Environment Learner (LBEL) Awards were open.

So far, the Awards organisers are on course to receive a record number of inspirational nominations from tutors, lecturers, assessors, and employers.  All whilst delivering high quality education at a peak time for the Land Based Education Sector.

Nomination window for the LBEL Awards extended

Nomination window for the LBEL Awards extended

Due to popular demand and to factor in these challenges Lantra and Landex are extending the nomination deadline to 11:59pm on Sunday 30th June 2024

Therefore, they are urging employers, colleges, private training providers and universities to nominate outstanding candidates for a prestigious award before the end of the month.

Danny Clarke, who trained as a garden designer at Hadlow College said: “The quality of the nominations we have had so far is truly amazing. We know there’s been a lot happening in education in the last few months, so I am really pleased to see the deadline has been extended. I am really looking forward to a great evening, celebrating some incredible learners – so make sure you nominate your learners today!”

The Awards ceremony will be hosted by Danny Clarke on Thursday 21st November at the National Conference Centre in Birmingham. The evening is set to be an exciting celebration of talent in the land-based and environment sector.

To recap, the annual awards are open to individuals on a full-time or part-time Land-Based and Environment course or Apprenticeship in England between September 2022 and September 2024. The award categories include Agriculture; Aquaculture and Fisheries, Arboriculture; Forestry and Woodland Management; Equine and Farriery; Floristry; Landscape and Horticulture; Land-Based Engineering; Animal Care and Management; Veterinary Nursing; Environmental Conservation, Game and Wildlife; and Sports Turf and Greenkeeping.

Prizes for the above categories apply across Private Training providers, Further Education (FE), Apprenticeships Awards (Level 2-3), Higher Education (HE) and Higher Apprenticeship Awards (Level 4-7). This year we will be introducing a new category: Research Student of the Year, where supervisors are encouraged to nominate a student studying a post-graduate level either for a master’s degree or a Doctoral Degree.

There are overall prizes for: Research Student of the Year; Apprentice of the Year; Overall Winner; and Runners Up. Online entries are being encouraged, as the quicker and more sustainable option. However, paper copies of the nomination form are available on request, by emailing lbels@lantra.co.uk.

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Celebrity garden designer opens national education awards

Celebrity garden designer opens national education awards: Inspiring, celebrity garden designer, Danny Clarke (aka The Black Gardener) is hosting the ceremony for the national Land-Based & Environment Learner (LBEL) Awards later this year, with today marking the opening of nominations for 2024 entries.

For the second year running, this exciting Awards scheme will recognise the outstanding talent, successes, and achievements of learners from across England and Northern Ireland in the land-based and environment sector.

Celebrity garden designer opens national education awards

Celebrity garden designer opens national education awards

Celebrity garden designer opens national education awardsvThe winners will be announced at a genuine celebration of talent on the 21 November 2024 at the centrally located, National Conference Centre in Birmingham. The ceremony will be hosted by Danny Clarke, who changed from a career in sales to horticulture in his early forties.

Danny Clarke, who trained as a garden designer at Hadlow College said: “I am thrilled to be hosting this year’s ceremony to recognise the talent and dedication of people in education who are taking care of and creating green spaces and looking after animals.”

“Although I didn’t change career until I was middle-aged, my love of the outdoors started early on in my life. I can’t wait to hear the stories behind the nominations, some of whom I expect will be career changers, like me, or young people embarking on their career. Either way, it looks set to be a memorable date in the calendar!”

The Awards organisers, Lantra and Landex, are actively encouraging land-based employers, colleges, private training providers and universities to recognise and promote their top candidates by nominating them for a prestigious award. The deadline for entries is 11 June 2024.

Dr David Llewellyn CBE, Lantra’s Chair of Trustees commented: ‘’We were overwhelmed by the 120 nominations that were received in the first year of the Awards. The LBEL Awards already play a key role in celebrating hard-work and success and in this second year, we are urging employers of apprentices to put their best candidates forward. In this way, we can recognise and reward the very best of our developing workforce.’’

Marcus Clinton, Chair of Landex commented: “Landex is calling on the network of land-based colleges and universities to identify outstanding learners who have the talent and drive to push the industry forward. We want them to take some time to nominate these fantastic individuals and join us in giving them the recognition they deserve.”

The annual awards are open to individuals on a full-time or part-time Land-Based and Environment course or Apprenticeship in England between September 2022 and September 2024. The award categories include Agriculture; Aquaculture and Fisheries, Arboriculture; Forestry and Woodland Management; Equine and Farriery; Floristry; Landscape and Horticulture; Land-Based Engineering; Animal Care and Management; Veterinary Nursing; Environmental Conservation, Game and Wildlife; and Sports Turf and Greenkeeping.

Prizes for the above categories apply across Private Training providers, Further Education (FE), Apprenticeships Awards (Level 2-3), Higher Education (HE) and Higher Apprenticeship Awards (Level 4-7). This year we will be introducing a new category: Research Student of the Year, where supervisors are encouraged to nominate a student studying a post-graduate level either for a master’s degree or a Doctoral Degree.

There are overall prizes for: Research Student of the Year; Apprentice of the Year; Overall Winner; and Runners Up. Online entries are being encouraged, as the quicker and more sustainable option. However, paper copies of the nomination form are available on request, by emailing lbels@lantra.co.uk

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Redexim scoop ‘Product of the Year’ at SAPCA Awards

Redexim scoop ‘Product of the Year’ at SAPCA Awards: The Verti-Top® TB from Redexim has been crowned the winner of ‘Product of the Year’ at the 2024 SAPCA Awards.

One of just six awards presented at the annual gala dinner held at the Mattioli Woods Welford Road stadium at the end of February, the Verti-Top® was also a highly commended runner-up in the ‘Sustainability Award’ category.

Redexim scoop ‘Product of the Year’ at SAPCA Awards

Redexim scoop ‘Product of the Year’ at SAPCA Awards

Now into their ninth year, the SAPCA Awards celebrate the achievements of SAPCA members across the sports and play facility construction industry. The six categories are designed to highlight the valuable contribution that SAPCA members make to facilities and communities up and down the country.

Shortlisted in two categories, the Verti-Top® Tow Behind (TB) works on the same principle as the Verti-Top® 1200 and larger 1800 PTO driven series but utilises a 6.5hp engine. This allows the machine to be towed by any vehicle without the requirement for a PTO, thus reducing combined weight while offering effective cleaning and dust/debris extraction. It’s ability to screen and clean sand and natural infill materials means the Verti-Top® TB is suited to industry standards of the future – actively reducing bacterial and airborne contamination and other health risks.

On collecting the trophy for ‘Product of the Year’ Paul Langford, Commercial Director for Redexim UK, said, “We have always been ahead of the curve when it comes to providing the maintenance solutions demanded by the industry and this award reflects the effort of the whole Redexim team to ensure we are continuously meeting the environmental and industry challenges of today, and those into the future. A big thank you to SAPCA for hosting a brilliant event and congratulations to all the other winners and nominees.”

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Baroness Dealer Awards presented at BTME

Baroness Dealer Awards presented at BTME: BTME 2024 provided the perfect platform for Baroness U.K. to recognise the excellence achieved within their dealer network over the last 12 months.

The Baroness Dealer Awards celebrates outstanding individual and team performance – with George Browns Ltd, Henderson’s Grass Machinery and Lister Wilder all receiving recognition in Harrogate.

Baroness Dealer Awards presented at BTME

Baroness Dealer Awards presented at BTME

David Fisher, Area Sales Manager (Groundcare) for George Browns Ltd was the recipient of ‘UK Salesperson of the Year 2023’. On collecting his award, David commented, “I’d like to thank all of my customers for the ongoing trust they have in myself and George Browns Ltd. 2023 was a great year and I look forward to continuing this positivity into 2024!”

Henderson Grass Machinery, Baroness distributors for central and East Scotland, were recognised for achieving the ‘Highest Machinery Sales Growth on previous year (2022-2023)’. The Henderson’s sales team received their award from Richard Connell, Baroness U.K. Area Sales & Service Manager for Scotland.

Completing the awards, and collecting the accolade for ‘Highest Overall Sales for 2023’, was Lister Wilder. Presented by Baroness U.K. Area Sales Manager Luke Collins to the Lister Wilder Groundcare Sales Team in attendance, a spokesperson said, “It’s fantastic to receive this award. The huge growth that both Lister Wilder and Baroness have seen over the last five years is proof that we have become a ‘go-to’ choice for golf, sports and other fine turf customers.”

Adam Butler, Director for Baroness U.K. adds, “The Baroness Dealer Awards provide a superb stage to showcase the hard work and dedication that our multi-branch dealers continue to deliver. Baroness are proud to produce world leading machinery, for which we strive for world leading backup and support – that’s what we have and that’s what we will continue to build on, day-to-day and year-to-year. We are extremely proud of all within our network and especially the aforementioned winners for 2023. From the whole Baroness U.K team, we’d like to extend a big thank you to our dealers and customers alike for their continued support.”

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Avant Dealer Awards Mark 25 Years in the UK

Avant Dealer Awards Mark 25 Years in the UK: Avant Tecno, a pioneering force in the compact loader industry, recently celebrated its 25th Anniversary in the UK with a spectacular event held at Carrow Road Stadium in Norwich, Norfolk. The occasion not only marked a quarter-century of Avant’s presence in the UK but also served as an opportunity to recognise and honour the outstanding achievements of its dedicated dealers through the Avant Dealer Awards.

Avant Tecno: A Legacy of Innovation Since 1991

Since its establishment in 1991, Avant Tecno has been a trailblazer in the manufacturing of compact loaders. With a production milestone of over 70,000 loaders at their state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Ylöjärvi, Finland, the company has left an indelible mark on the industry. Avant’s global reach includes sales offices in Germany, the UK, and the US, along with import partners in more than 55 countries. Avant machines have been a staple in the UK for 25 years, with a rapidly expanding network of regional dealers covering the entire nation.

Avant Dealer Awards Mark 25 Years in the UK

Avant Dealer Awards Mark 25 Years in the UK

The recent Avant Dealer Awards served as a fitting occasion to express gratitude to the network of dealers who have played a pivotal role in the brand’s growth and success.

Avant Dealer Awards 2023: Recognising Excellence

The awards ceremony at Carrow Road Stadium, home of Norwich City FC, saw deserving dealers acknowledged for their exceptional contributions to Avant Tecno’s success. The winners included:

 

  • Eco Award 2023: Ben Burgess & Co Ltd.
  • After Sales and Customer Care: Avant South East Ltd
  • Largest Growth: Essener Equipment Co.
  • Recognition Award: Davies Implements Ltd.
  • Most Machines Sold: Essener Equipment Co.
  • Leguan Dealer of the Year: Ben Burgess & Co Ltd.
  • Avant Dealer of the Year: Ferrybridge Ltd.

One standout winner of the evening was Ferrybridge Ltd., recognised as the Avant Dealer of the Year. With nearly two decades of expertise in the Plant and Machinery industry, Ferrybridge has recently emerged as an authorised dealer for all Avant compact loader products in Ireland.

Andrew Shore from Ferrybridge expressed delight at winning the prestigious award, highlighting the opportunity to align with another world-renowned brand like Avant. He emphasised the versatility and strength of Avant machinery, noting their adaptability to various industries such as equine, landscaping, and tree surgery.

“The beauty of the Avant brand is that it has given us a doorway into a lot of industries. You name the industry, and we have probably sold an Avant machine into it. Becoming an Avant dealer was a good opportunity for us to get another world-renowned strong brand.”

“Winning the award was an extremely pleasant surprise – we have only been selling the machines for just over a year now. We’ve put a lot of work into it to really try and push the products, and it has been going really well. It is great to be recognised.”

Andrew also praised Avant’s commitment to innovation, highlighting the simplicity of operation and the extensive range of over 200 attachments that cater to a multitude of tasks: “There is an attachment for every job that needs to be done,” he said.

As Avant Tecno looks ahead to the future, the recent Dealer Awards underscore the company’s commitment to excellence, innovation, and the enduring partnerships with its valued dealers that have been integral to its success over the past 25 years.

For more information, please visit www.avant.co.uk 

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BIGGA Awards showcase greenkeeping at its finest

BIGGA Awards showcase greenkeeping at its finest: The British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) is delighted to reveal the finalists of the annual BIGGA Awards, with greenkeeping teams represented from across the golfing spectrum.

Each year BIGGA invites nominations from the golfing industry to recognise the achievements of its greenkeeping members, who play a vital role in the ongoing success of the sport.

BIGGA Awards showcase greenkeeping at its finest

BIGGA Awards showcase greenkeeping at its finest

The BIGGA Awards are divided into three categories, with the winners revealed at the BIGGA Celebration with Jacobsen. The event takes place on the opening evening of the BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition (BTME) in January 2024.

The BIGGA Awards recognise that high standards of quality and dedication are vital to the success of any golf course or championship. They reward the innovation of BIGGA members who are at the cutting edge of the profession and any BIGGA member within the UK, regardless of their golf facility’s size, age or reputation, can enter. The awards provide golf clubs with an opportunity to showcase their greenkeeping team’s talents and celebrate their achievements.

BIGGA Awards 2024 finalists

Championship Greenkeeping Performance of the Year sponsored by Bernhard and Company

This award recognises that the success of any tournament depends upon the expertise and dedication of the greenkeeping team. From the lowliest club championship through to golf’s professional tours – all are only made possible due to the work of greenkeepers who go above and beyond to present the finest playing surfaces possible.

The finalists in this category for 2024 are:

  • Paisley Golf Club, led by Course Manager Jonathan Caldwell, for hosting the Scottish Golf Men’s Area Team Championship Finals in September 2023
  • Portlethen Golf Club, led by Head Greenkeeper Neil Sadler, for hosting the Scottish Golf Boy’s Under 16 Open Championship in July 2023
  • Walton Heath Golf Club, led by Course Manager Michael Mann, for hosting US Open Golf Championship Final Qualifying in May 2023 and the AIG Women’s Open in August 2023.

Greenkeeping Project of the Year

This award recognises those greenkeeping teams who have undertaken a specific project, completed within the past year. However, projects can be long term and may include course construction, renovation or rebuild. They particularly award innovative thinking and commitment to the project by the home greenkeeping team.

The finalists in this category for 2024 are:

  • Basingstoke Golf Club, led by Course Manager Scott Roberts, for the redevelopment of the former Dummer Golf Club site and creation of a new golf course and associated facilities
  • Dudley Golf Club, led by Head Greenkeeper Stewart Marshall, for bringing the golf club back from the brink of closure and producing a thriving venue through a range of course improvement projects
  • Sandiway Golf Club, led by Course Manager Richard Sinker, for the ‘Project 1946’ redevelopment that is seeing the golf course revert to its original heathland characteristics

Outstanding Contribution of the Year

This award is presented to a BIGGA member or members who have made an outstanding contribution above and beyond their normal working life. This can be for charity, for the betterment of the greenkeeping profession or association or generally for society. The winner of this award will be revealed at the BIGGA Welcome Celebration at BTME 2024.

More information about each of the finalists can be found on the BTME website.

BIGGA CEO Jim Croxton said: “It has become something of a BIGGA tradition that we sign off the year by revealing the finalists of our annual awards and I couldn’t be prouder of this year’s line-up. The performance of a greenkeeping team can massively impact the fortunes of a golf club and these six finalists all show instances of greenkeepers possessing the confidence and ability to take the lead and ensure their golf club’s ambitions are fulfilled.

“I wish them all the best for the awards and look forward to discovering the winners at the BIGGA Awards on the opening night of BTME 2024.”

Sponsorship opportunities are still available alongside these awards. If you’re interested in getting involved, contact BIGGA’s head of business development Lauren Frazer using lauren@bigga.co.uk.

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Grounds Management Heroes Celebrated at GMA Awards

Grounds Management Heroes Celebrated at GMA Awards: The very best in the grounds management industry were celebrated at a dazzling evening at AMT Headingley Stadium, hosted by award-wining sports broadcaster, Hayley McQueen.

Over 300 attendees from across the sports turf industry, from grounds staff to grounds care businesses and representatives from sport’s National Governing Bodies, all gathered at the iconic AMT Headingley Stadium for an evening of celebration.

Grounds Management Heroes Celebrated at GMA Awards

Grounds Management Heroes Celebrated at GMA Awards

The awards recognised leadership, innovation and outstanding achievement across every aspect of grounds care, from grassroots pitches to professional stadia, over 17 categories.

Attendees celebrated new talent emerging on the scene, with two female winners of the Young Groundsperson of the Year and Newcomer of the Year award categories, whilst long-time industry stalwarts were honoured with Hall of Fame inductions and GMA Grounds Manager of the Year awards.

The awards ceremony recognised outstanding achievements in public and private sports venues and highlighted the progress of young grounds professionals as well as outstanding performance in environmental practices. Also new to 2023 was a Special Recognition Award which shone a light on a unique and inspiring individual who represents everything that is positive about the industry.

Geoff Webb, CEO of the Grounds Management Association, commented on the success of the evening:

“The GMA Industry Awards are always an important evening in the industry’s calendar. With the industry playing such a vital role in the country’s enjoyment of sport, it’s hugely important that we come together to celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals and grounds teams across all levels of sport

“The talent celebrated throughout the event is testament to the hard work and innovation of grounds staff across the sector, and we’re always delighted to see exceptional examples recongised and celebrated for their achievements. The iconic AMT Headingly Stadium provided the perfect backdrop for the awards.

“There were many highlights on the night, including two women taking home the Young Groundsperson of the Year and Newcomer of the Year awards – opening the sector to a wider demographic has long been an objective of the GMA’s work, so to see two young women receiving recognition on the night was a real sign of progress.

“The surprise on Rod Heyhoe and Lee Marshallsay’s faces represented the full spectrum of exceptional grounds managers, from volunteers to professionals, as they received recognition for their outstanding contribution to sports turf. The story of Zeynu Bedru, who received a Special Recognition Award, and his journey as a refugee from Eritea to Harrogate RUFC, summed up the wonderful community our industry creates.”

The winners of the GMA Industry Awards 2023 are:

Young Groundsperson of the Year – Sponsored by Origin Amenity Solutions
Bethany Gibbs Wellington School

Newcomer of the Year
Meg Lay Gloucestershire CCC

Volunteer Groundsperson or Team of the Year
Clapton Community F.C

Community Groundsperson or Team of the Year – Sponsored by National Governing Bodies
Yeovil Recreation Centre

Environmental and Sustainability Impact – Sponsored by Syngenta
Leicester City F.C

Bowls/Croquet Groundsperson or Team of the Year
Wantage Bowling Club

Best Managed Artificial Surface of the Year
Yeovil Recreation Centre

Professional Horse Racing Grounds Team of the Year – Sponsored by Avant Tecno UK LTD
Lingfield Park

Professional Cricket Grounds Team of the Year
Marylebone CC

Professional Tennis Courts Grounds Team of the Year – Sponsored by Infinicut
Devonshire Park

Professional Rugby Union Grounds Team of the Year
Bath Rugby

Professional Rugby League Grounds Team of the Year – Sponsored by Agronomic Services Ltd
Leeds Rhinos

Professional Football Grounds Team of the Year
Stockport County F.C

Professional Football Grounds Team (Elite) – Sponsored by SGL
Leicester City F.C

University/College Grounds Team of the Year
Loughborough University

Independent School Grounds Team of the Year – Sponsored by ISEKI UK & Ireland
Eton College

Special Recognition Award
Zeynu Bedru Harrogate RUFC

GMA Grounds Manager of the Year – Sponsored by DLF Seeds Ltd
Lee Marshallsay Eton College

The GMA is hugely grateful for the GMA Industry Awards sponsors for their support of the industry:

Platinum sponsor and Independent School Grounds Team of the Year Category sponsor

ISEKI

Award Category sponsors

Amenity Solutions

National Governing Bodies (RFL, RFU, ECB, Premier League)

Syngenta

Avant Tecno UK

Infinicut

Agronomic

SGL

DLF Seeds

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Talent recognised at inaugural LBEL awards

Talent recognised at inaugural LBEL awards: Aspiring turf specialist, Martin Foster, an apprentice at Askham Bryan College, was rewarded for his learning excellence at this week’s glittering Land-based & Environment Learner Awards Ceremony.

The Land-based & Environment Learner (LBEL) Awards were launched this June by leading land-based training & qualification awarding body Lantra, and the representative body for land-based colleges and universities, Landex.

Talent recognised at inaugural LBEL awards

Talent recognised at inaugural LBEL awards

The Awards were open to apprentices, further education and higher education learners working and studying in land-based and environmental sectors between September 2021 and September 2022.

The aim is to reward top candidates in industries including agriculture and horticulture, forestry, environmental conservation, turf management, landscaping, and equine, amongst others.

These sectors face skills shortages and low levels of diversity, and both Lantra and Landex working hard to attract new blood and equip recruits with the key skills they need to succeed.

With the celebration of new talent at the LBEL Awards, it is hoped more potential entrants will recognise the various land-based industries as rewarding career choices with exciting long-term prospects.

In its inaugural year, organisers received over 120 nominations across 10 categories and a panel of industry professionals picked, where appropriate, an outstanding apprentice and an outstanding learner in each category.

This year, the judges picked just an outstanding apprentice in the Sports Turf & Greenkeeping category, Martin Foster. The oldest candidate to be nominated, the judges praised Martin for his motivation to change careers later in life and his complete passion and enthusiasm for his role.

The Awards ceremony, held at Reaseheath College on 22 November 2023, was attended by Minster of State for Food, Farming and Fisheries, Mark Spencer MP, celebrity farmer Adam Henson, and more than 200 guests.

On receiving the Award, sponsored by GroundsFest, from Adam Henson, Martin commented:

“I’m confident that undertaking my apprenticeship, albeit somewhat later life, has truly set me on my career path for the future. Winning this Award has reinforced that I’m actually really good at what I do, and being celebrated by so many industry professionals has certainly given my confidence a boost”.

Chair of the judging panel, and land-based business consultant, John Moverley of JMM Solutions, said he was honoured to help identify the very best of learners, like Martin, who are now making their mark on the industry.

“To keep pace with the technological and environmental challenges we face in the land-based sector, it is crucial that the skills and knowledge of the current workforce are completed with a generation of forward thinking and enthusiastic new recruits, whatever their age.

“And what better way to establish this new generation than through hands-on apprenticeships,” he added.

Commenting on the Awards and paying tribute to all the winners, host Adam Henson said:

“I am absolutely delighted to have been invited to host the very first Land-based and Environment Learner Awards. In my various roles, I’m lucky enough to encounter some amazing people who are passionate about their jobs and are a complete inspiration. Tonight was no exception. The level of enthusiasm, professionalism and passion, blew me away – a big well done to everyone”.

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Ormskirk and Farleigh greenkeepers earn prestigious awards

Ormskirk and Farleigh greenkeepers earn prestigious awards: One has an obsession with board games while the other is a rock climber who scales cliffs around the UK, but the winners of the 34th Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards are united in a passion for the greenkeeping profession.

The British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA), Toro and Reesink UK have revealed the winners of their prestigious student greenkeeping awards following a day of judging in the historic surroundings of Cheshire’s Carden Park.

Ormskirk and Farleigh greenkeepers earn prestigious awards

Ormskirk and Farleigh greenkeepers earn prestigious awards

With finalists representing eight education providers from across the UK, the awards also provide the students with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and expand their professional network.

The winner of the Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Award was revealed to be Michael Russell, assistant greenkeeper at Ormskirk Golf Club in West Lancashire. Michael’s nomination was endorsed by Phil Lomas, tutor at Oldham College.

Michael, 31, switched career four years ago from a role in the Civil Service and hasn’t looked back. A keen board game collector, he was a finalist in the 2021 hosting of the awards and has optimised his BIGGA membership, becoming an ICL Continue to Learn Scholar and graduating from the Future Turf Managers Initiative. He is married to Megan and has a one-year-old daughter, Millie. Michael was also the first finalist to ever score full marks in the multiple choice stage of the examination.

Michael said: “It was a little bit of a shock, but I know how much preparation I’d done coming into the finals. I think you can always underestimate yourself, seeing those around you and how much experience they have and their passion for the industry, but I was absolutely delighted to win and I know in terms of the rewards that are available as part of the event and just networking has been a brilliant opportunity.”

Runner-up in that category was Ryan Fiander, deputy course manager at Lees Hall Golf Club in Sheffield. Ryan’s nomination was endorsed by Andy Kenworthy, his tutor at Myerscough College.

The winner of the Toro Young Student Greenkeeper of the Year Award was revealed to be Daniel Martin, first assistant greenkeeper at Farleigh Golf Club in Surrey. A keen mountain biker and climber, Daniel is a thrill seeker who has found a professional passion in the greenkeeping industry. Daniel’s nomination was endorsed by Wayne Syres, tutor at Hadlow College. In another awards first, Daniel’s grandparents were in the area and stopped by the awards ceremony, making it extra special that he came out on top in his category.

Daniel said: “It’s a really good recognition of all the work that you have put into your career and studying to gain the extra knowledge to differentiate yourself from everyone else, so I felt satisfaction in the recognition of that work. For me, if I’ve achieved something well then it’s satisfaction of a job well done and on to the next one.”

Runner-up in the Young category was Jake Rose, apprentice greenkeeper at Moortown Golf Club in Leeds. Daniel’s nomination was endorsed by his course manager, Steven Robinson.

You can watch extended interviews from Michael and Daniel on the BIGGA YouTube channel.

The nomination period for the 2024 Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards will begin at the BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition in January 2024.

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