Although it's normally the players and coaches who grab all the headlines in Rugby League, the Rugby Football League (RFL) are determined to recognise the efforts of the men and women who work behind the scenes throughout the year maintaining the sport's playing surfaces.
Last year's inaugural Brian Cartwright Award for the 'Grounds Person of the Year' was so successful that it was decided that the scheme should become be an annual event.
This year the award will be extended to include all clubs from the engage Super League through to LHF Healthplan National League Three.
Last year's winner, Brian Mossop from Whitehaven RLFC, was presented with his award at the 2004 Gillette Tri-Nations Final at Elland Road and this year's winner will receive his or her trophy at the 2005 Gillette Tri-Nations Final at the home of Leeds United Football Club.
The award is not judged purely on the provision of a top quality playing surface. It is also intended to reward those groundsmen and women who put in effort above and beyond the call of duty whether they are dedicated club employees or volunteers who take pride in their work; have an attention to detail and a 'can do' attitude, particularly in difficult circumstances.
The RFL is seeking nominations of candidates by member clubs and, after the entries have been received, a shortlist will be constructed. The deadline for nominations is September 30 and the judging panel will visit the short-listed grounds during October.
All clubs should have received their nomination form. Please return them as soon as possible. Should any club not have received their form, please contact Dean Hardman at the Rugby Football League on 0113 232 9111 - Ext 5036, or email: Dean.Hardman@rfl.uk.com
Photo (left to right): Nigel Wood - RFL's Director of Finance and Chief Operating Officer; Andrew Cartwright - Son of Brian Cartwright, whom the award is named after; Brian Mossop - Groundsperson for Whitehaven RLFC and winner of the inaugural RFL Groundsperson of the Year Award.