Swansea Uni Groundscare team win the battle of the turf wars

Swansea University’s groundscare team have been recognised for their expertise, dedication and passion in the profession’s annual Industry Awards when they sprinted away, for the second time, with the Best Maintained Artificial Pitch of the Year award.

Swansea’s groundscare team also won the award in 2009.

Praising his team John Courteney Head Groundsman said: “ The facilities at Swansea provide first-class playing surfaces for the students, staff and varying high-profile and community groups. The award is in recognition of high quality maintenance of sport ground facilities – in this case focussing on Astro Turf pitches.

Groundscare award team

“ An essential part of the maintenance strategy for the synthetic surfaces is the fact that our university’s grounds care team have been appropriately trained in the maintenance and management of such surfaces. To win the award for a second time is a major achievement and my congratulations go to my assistants Ross Davies and Leighton Williams and colleague Andrew Griffiths (Manager of the Astro Turf facilities) and his team Andrew Philips, Brian Culliford and Chris Nelson.


Swansea University’s outdoor facilities consist of an 8 lane running track with a grass infield, 6 tennis courts, two water based astro turf pitches plus a soccer and rugby pitch.

The athletics track and indoor training centre is used by international teams, elite athletes, local club, local schools, National Governing Bodies and the university. It was also used as a training base by Paralympians before the London Paralympics – New Zealand and exico.

The Astro turf hockey pitches are also used for International matches, National Governing Bodies, various hockey teams including a ladies team which plays in the Premier division,  students, community groups and schools.

John Courteney and IOG award

The Swansea team received their award at an Oscar-style ceremony at York Racecourse  which was attended by more than 350 of the UK’s and Europe’s leading groundscare experts from both the professional and volunteer sector, as well as dignitaries from the governing bodies of sport and influential sports administrators, honouring the expertise, dedication and passion of the country’s grounds profession.

The awards recognised leadership, innovation and outstanding achievement across every aspect of groundscare – from grassroots pitches to professional stadia. The awards also celebrated the quality standards of groundscare achieved in public and private sports venues, and highlighted the progress of young/student grounds professionals as well as entrants’ environmental considerations.

Hosted by talk SPORT Radio’s Mark Saggers, the IOG Awards ceremony followed a day-long series of IOG ‘Ahead of the Game’ Conference presentations by some of the biggest names in the sports, parks and groundscare industry from both sides of the Atlantic.

  • 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. The awards are judged by an independent panel on criteria that included effective use of resources, budgetary control, presentation and housekeeping standards, as well as environmental considerations.
  • The IOG is the leading membership organisation for everyone involved in the management of sports pitches, landscape and amenity facilities - the annual awards embrace categories of entry covering sport, young people and the environment. 

Picture 1: (left to right) John Courteney (Head Groundsman), Leighton Williams, Ross Davies and Andrew Philips.

Picture 2: John Courteney (Centre) receiving the IOG award from sponsor representatives Curtis Allen, Redexim Charterhouse (left) and Dave Roberts, Kubota (right).