Eddie Seaward, Head Groundsman at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon, was guest of honour at the annual Associations' Reception at Harrogate Week.
The five host associations, the British Association of Golf Course Constructors, National Turfgrass Foundation, Independent Greenkeepers Association, British Turf and Landscape Irrigation Association and Land Drainage Contractors Association dedicated this year's event to him in celebration of the honour bestowed upon him in the New Year Honours List, when he was made an MBE.
Following an introduction from Nigel Wyatt, Contracts Director for the event's supporters, MJ Abbott, more than 100 industry guests listened to him describe the moment he discovered he'd been nominated in an unexpected letter from 10 Downing Street. He also revealed he has no idea who nominated him and that certain members of his staff now occasionally drop to their knees and bow when he enters a room!
Speaking with the passion that has led to him being acknowledged as one of the industry's finest ambassadors, he took the opportunity to encourage all those working within the sports turf sector to unite in taking it forward. As Patron of the Land Drainage Contractors Association, he recognises the part played by specialists in all areas of the industry and added that they must work together to raise its profile.
The host associations announced plans to work together on issues of mutual concern last January.
Land Drainage Contractors Association - www.ldca.org
British Turf & Landscape Irrigation Association - www.btlia.org.uk
Independent Greenkeepers Association - www.theiga.net
British Association of Golf Course Constructors - www.bagcc.org.uk
National Turfgrass Foundation - firstname.lastname@example.org