BT Murrayfield and Scotstoun pitch nominated for prestigious industry award

The home grounds of Scotland’s two professional rugby teams have been nominated as finalists in the prestigious Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) Industry Awards 2018.

The celebrated turf at Scotland’s largest stadium, BT Murrayfield, which plays host to the Scotland national team and Edinburgh Rugby home games, has been short-listed in the “Professional Rugby Football Union Grounds of the Year” category.

It will contest the title with Ashton Gate, home to the Bristol Bears, the Welford Road ground of Leicester Tigers and Leeds Rugby, where Yorkshire Carnegie play.

Scotstoun Stadium, which had a brand new 3G surface installed at the start of the 2017/18 season, has also been recognised and is in a straight head-to-head for the title of ‘Best Managed Artificial Surface of the Year’ with the Beversbrook Sports Facility in Swindon.

Scottish Rugby’s head-groundsman, Jim Dawson said: “It is very pleasing to have the hard work we put in on a daily basis at both BT Murrayfield and Scotstoun acknowledged  by our industry.

“We set ourselves very high standards and want to give the players, coaches and fans the best possible surface to enjoy their rugby on and like high performance side of the business it is very much a team effort for the ground staff too.”

Elsewhere in Scotland St. Andrews University is a finalist in the ‘University/College Grounds Team of the Year’, up against Loughborough University and University of Leicester.

This year, celebrating their 10th anniversary, the awards acknowledge the passion, dedication and challenges faced by grounds staff, volunteers and professionals across all levels of sport.

“Once again we have enjoyed a bumper number of nominations for the awards, matching last year’s record-breaking entry,” says IOG Chief Executive, Geoff Webb. “The quality has really been exceptional – with the judges commenting that some of the applications have been the best they’ve seen in the awards’ history – and a host of new nominees have come to the fore, too.”

Independent judging at each venue will now take place. The winners will be announced at the IOG Industry Awards dinner on Wednesday 31 October.

Selected finalists are:

SCH Supplies Best Managed Artificial Surface of the Year
Beversbrook Sports Facility, Swindon; Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow.

Kubota Professional Rugby Football Union Grounds Team of the Year
Bristol Bears (Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol); Scottish Rugby (BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh); Leicester Tigers; Yorkshire Carnegie (Leeds Rugby).

Redexim Charterhouse/Kubota University/College Grounds Team of the Year
Loughborough University; University of Leicester; University of St Andrews, Fife.