Groundskeeper of the year awards background

About the awards

Calling all Welsh rugby club groundsman! Do you have the award-worthy skills we’re looking for? Are you out in the wind, rain, frost or snow tending to your team’s pitch, ensuring optimum conditions for rugby?

As part of our continued support for grassroots rugby, PGI Welsh Beef is launching its Groundsman of the Year Awards. Designed to spotlight the unsung heroes of our nation’s great sport, we’re giving one lucky individual the recognition they deserve with a Groundsman of the Year trophy and the chance to win £500 worth of outdoor clothing.

For many years, PGI Welsh Beef has been an avid supporter of rugby, connected through the benefits of our nation’s lush grass and landscape. Just as Welsh grass underpins the high-quality of our cattle, so too does it provide an equally integral role for our nation’s next rugby stars and we want to celebrate the individuals’ responsible for maintaining its habitat.

At PGI Welsh Beef we know the importance of good-quality grass. On the pitch, seasonal management is crucial to achieving a high-quality surface throughout the year and this requires a steadfast dedication. If you are this steadfast individual, or you want to nominate your team’s groundsman who always takes pride in the pitch for your club, get behind them and nominate today!

The Judges

Dan Lydiate

Dan Lydiate

Wales International Rugby Player

As a current Wales international who’s had the privilege of leading out his country at the hallowed turf of the Principality Stadium, Dan Lydiate knows a great rugby pitch. He’s played all over the world and represented Wales over 60 times. Having grown up playing rugby on pitches in Wales, he’s a big advocate of youth rugby and supports any opportunity to give back and reward those who give their time to allow kids to play each week. Dan also comes from farming stock as his parents are PGI Welsh Beef farmers and recently acquired some Welsh cattle of his own.

Len Smith

Len Smith

Regional Pitch advisor in Wales for the Institute of Groundsmanship

As the former Head Groundsman at Glamorgan County Cricket Ground, Len Smith knows what it takes to create an optimum pitch. After 20 years at Glamorgan County Cricket Club, Len joined the IOG as Regional Advisor for Wales and, since 2009, has successfully developed the IOG's training, education and membership in the area as well as establishing strong links with governing bodies, colleges and local authorities. He’s won the IOG Everris & Syngenta Lifetime Achievement Award from the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) for his distinguished 50-year career, which has spanned all major turf sports. His experience as a groundsman is backed up by a host of training and qualifications, including the coveted IOG NDT. He is a renowned IOG trainer and is widely respected throughout the industry.

Charlie Morgan

Charlie Morgan

Secretary of the Federation of Welsh Grassland Societies

Charlie Morgan is ideally placed to judge anything green. He’s currently a grassland consultant and is Secretary of the Federation of Welsh Grassland Societies. He has many farming clients and also delivers information and training on behalf of environmental organisations such as the Environment Agency. Despite his agricultural background, the techniques in grass growing and maintenance crossover to preparing a great youth rugby pitch.

Nomination form

Your first name
Your last name
The groundskeeper of your choice
e.g. 4 years or 3 months
e.g. Were they a previous player or club supporter, did they have any previous groundsman experience?
e.g. Regular mowing? Weed control? Constant repairs?
e.g. Why do they deserve to be recognised? Do they give up their time for free each week?