Industy award for the Foxes’ pitch perfect grounds staff
LEICESTER City FC’s expert grounds staff have retained their “premier league” status.
The team has been recognised by the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG), winning its professional football grounds team of the year award for the second year running.
At a 10th anniversary awards ceremony at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole hosted by talkSPORT radio presenter Mark Saggers, City’s grounds manager, John Ledwidge, and his team collected the award from Tom Grafen and Josh Haycocks, of award category sponsors SGL.
The Foxes’ grounds team won the same award in 2015 and 2017.
In addition to tending the playing surfaces at the King Power Stadium, the team maintains the club’s training ground, under-23s venue Holmes Park and the stadium and training centre of City’s Belgian sister club, OH Leuven.
They contested this year’s award with their counterparts from the mighty Manchester City.
The awards highlight the high standards of volunteer and professional groundsmanship, from grassroots to professional stadia level.
They are judged on criteria including effective use of resources, budgetary control, presentation standards and environmental considerations.
IOG chief executive Geoff Webb said: “Having this year suffered extreme weather conditions, with the winter’s Beast from the East through to this summer’s unprecedented record heatwave, the climate has tested groundsmen to their limits.
“Against all the odds and on a daily basis battling against the elements, this year’s awards had a fantastic array of nominees who have all achieved very high standards.
“I applaud everyone and thank them for their efforts in creating amazing playing surfaces.”