0 St Austell's 'marvellous' groundsman honoured at Twickenham

Tich&RhiannA Cornwall rugby stalwart has been honoured at Twickenham for his efforts. St Austell vice-chairman and groundsman Tich Preston, was at rugby headquarters yesterday, with partner and club committee member Rhian Roberts, to collect an award from the RFU's Rugby Groundsmen Connected after being nominated for recognition by the RFU Head Groundsman Keith Kent.

Tich is at Tregorrick Park virtually every day, working hard to ensure that the club's four pitches are in pristine condition for the seven days a week use that they get.

And club chairman Paul Hayes said the honour was well deserved.

"Tich does a marvellous job and it was great to see he received some well deserved recognition, which he did not seek, for all that he does as a totally unpaid volunteer."

"Including the main pitch, there are four pitches he has to look after and make sure they in the best possible condition."

"They get seven day a week use. As well as the first team, we have a ladies' team, two Colts teams and mini-juniors from Under-7s to Under-16s."

"We joined the RFU maintenance programme a couple of years ago and that also makes us eligible for grants."

"Tich is at the ground all the time to make sure the surfaces are strong and playable through the winter. He is the sort of person every club needs and we are so glad we have him at St Austell."

Tich and Rhian were treated to a special lunch at Twickenham, where he received his award, and they also had a guided tour of the ground - although they were not allowed on the grass!

Story from the West Briton

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