Isle of Man's Mike Atherton and team win IOG award

Tue, Jan 8, 2013 4:04 PM

Mike Atherton and the ground staff from King William’s College have won a National IOG Award in the School, College and University Sports Club Grounds Team of the Year category.

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.

Mike Atherton and his three groundstaff lead by example at two Isle of Man sites- King William’s College and Buchan School- looking after playing surfaces for cricket, rugby and hockey. While they have made steady and recognised improvements to the playing surfaces, they have also done much to improve the development and standing of the team itself.

Atherton was delighted with the recoginition: “It is with great pleasure that I, along with Assistant Groundsman, Christian Hawthorn were able to accept the Institute of Groundsmanship award for Schools, Colleges and University Grounds team of the year on December 6th, 2012. Given the relative obscurity of Manx Groundsmanship little more than 3 years ago, this award means a great deal to me personally, and the highest praise should be given to my assistants, Josh Bowman and Christian Hawthorn, who play such an integral part of everything that we do.

“On a broader scale, I would consider this award to serve as recognition for not only ourselves, but also to the many Grounds teams that often go unnoticed, yet work tirelessly around the clock, and often in the most difficult of circumstances to provide playing surfaces for the youth of today, and the casual, amateur and professional sports men and women of tomorrow. The support of ICC Europe, and the success of their tournaments on the Isle of Man played a large part in both the application and judging processes in respect of this award, and it would be my sincere hope that the Grounds teams from other ICC Europe member countries are able to experience the immense pride that we at King William’s College have experienced in winning this award,” concluded Atherton.

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