The Racecourse Association (RCA) is proud to confirm the launch of the Racecourse Groundstaff Awards following an enforced hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The highly coveted awards celebrate excellence in turf husbandry across British racecourses and are unique in that they remain the only dedicated awards for groundstaff within the sport.
2022 sees three new headline partners welcomed to the Racecourse Groundstaff Awards in Agrovista, DLF and Duralock.
In its 25th renewal, the RCA will manage the process which is open to all racecourse teams. Having consulted with sponsors, industry stakeholders and racecourses, the RCA is pleased to confirm the inclusion of a new category for most improved member of the team. This award will have multi-gender categories to recognise the excellent work of those within the sport and to promote the profession of groundstaff to a new audience.
The confirmed awards for 2022 are:
- Flat Racecourse of the Year
- Jump Racecourse of the Year
- Dual Purpose Racecourse of the Year
- Most Improved Member of the Team (multi-gender)
- Special Merit
- Neil Wyatt Lifetime Achievement
All British racecourses are considered for the awards and may choose to submit additional information to demonstrate their work.
As with previous Racecourse Groundstaff Awards, an expert judging panel comprised of the representatives from the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) Racecourse Inspectorate, Professional Jockeys Association (PJA), National Trainers Federation (NTF), Agrovista, DLF and Duralock will examine the data. A key component of the Racecourse Groundstaff Awards is the inclusion of an independent agronomist who will examine and ratify the proposals of the judging panel.
The winners of the three racecourse of the year categories will go on to the RCA Showcase & Awards in November where the Groundstaff Champion will be crowned.
The nomination window for entering the Racecourse Groundstaff Awards is now open.
Holly Cook, RCA Racecourse Services Manager, commented: "The Racecourse Groundstaff Awards recognise and celebrate the hard work, dedication and commitment of the groundstaff teams across British Racecourses, and we are delighted to be able to relaunch them for 2022.
"We have had time to reflect and as such have reviewed the award categories and process whilst also introducing a new category to celebrate those new to our industry. The RCA is extremely grateful to our partners Agrovista, DLF and Duralock for their support."
Jonathon McGovern, Duralock Chief Executive Officer said: "Duralock is delighted to have supported the RCA for over 20 years and this sponsorship reaffirms our commitment to the UK racing market, it's world-leading racecourses and staff."
Matt Gresty, DLF/MM Designer Sales and Brand Manager, said: "I've worked with racecourses for over 20 years, so I have plenty of experience in this field and the unique challenges that the racecourse grounds teams are faced with. I think sometimes the racecourse sector can be a little bit forgotten about and it is important that they are represented and supported by the whole amenity turf industry."
John Marland, Agrovista Head of Amenity, commented: "Agrovista Amenity is delighted to support and recognise the skill and dedication of racecourse grounds teams throughout Great Britain by becoming a main sponsor of the Racecourse Groundstaff Awards.
"After a tough couple of years for racecourse groundstaff and the racing community as a whole, we are delighted to be working with the RCA to celebrate the invaluable work done to make racing happen."