Expert groundsman Len Smith has won the IOG Everris & Syngenta Lifetime Achievement Award at the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) Industry Awards in a glittering Oscar-style ceremony at Coventry's Ricoh Arena hosted by BBC TV and radio presenter Mark Clemmit.
The award was presented to Len by Ed Carter and Simon Elsworth from category sponsors Everris and Syngenta, respectively, in front of an audience of 350 of the UK's and Europe's leading groundscare experts, as well as dignitaries from the governing bodies of sport and influential sports administrators.
After 20 years at Glamorgan County Cricket Club, Len Smith joined the IOG as Regional Advisor for Wales and, since 2009, he 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.
Len started out as a greenkeeper at Radyr Golf Club and has also been responsible for grounds at Pennylan bowling and lawn tennis club, the Polytechnic of Wales (now the University of Glamorgan), Cardiff Athletic Club, Cardiff City and most recently at Glamorgan CCC.
His vast 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.
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.
Embracing categories of entry covering sport, young people and the environment, the awards are judged by an independent panel on criteria that include 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.