The role of head groundsman is pivotal at any facility, but especially one the size of Tottenham Hotspur's. That's why the club has recently invested in the Sirius, an electric buggy from STAR EV for its Head of Playing Surfaces and Estates.
Darren Baldwin has been at the club in North London for 26 years and has 18 acres to get around including 15 grass pitches and the world's first dividing retractable stadium pitch, and a team of 45 to manage, so it was essential he had his own transport - and for that the STAR EV Sirius 2+2 was perfect. Unlike other brands that repurpose fleet cars, the Sirius was designed specifically as a personal transportation vehicle.
Darren says: "Being responsible for the delivery of pitch maintenance to the highest standards, managing a team of staff to deliver the highest quality playing surfaces and having first team commitments to work around, being able to work flexibly is really important. I need to be able to get around the grounds at ease and speed. When it comes to vehicles that do that well, it's not rocket science, but it's not always done right. When it comes to the quality, the finish, and the details of STAR EV, it's above and beyond what other brands offer."
As well as for his own use, Darren also uses the Sirius to host VIP tours and that's when the quality of the Sirius really comes to the fore, as he explains: "A part of my role is to do VIP tours, and this buggy is a good marketing point for that. Being all-electric the ride is quiet, smooth and there are no fumes. The quality of the seats, alloy wheels as standard, easy read digital display, the built-in screen on the dash - that's something not all brands have, all amounts to delivering a stylish ride for guests."
"It has a sporty look, too, which is very attractive, and we've branded it up, so it really does look the part and is just a pleasure to use."
Darren opted for the canopy design with a glass screen and wiper, which brings the best of both worlds to those using it, keeping passengers cool, allowing for air flow, providing shade from the sun and shelter from the rain, while offering the best possible visibility in all weathers.
The Sirius joined the club alongside a fleet of 18 other all-electric work machines and ambulance vehicles and is probably as big a leap from the technology present at the club when he started as could be. Daren explains: "When I started it was just me, I had one pedestrian mower for the stadium, a set of three gang mowers for the training pitch and a compact tractor. There was no electricity or water to the shed. I've literally seen it go from the worst facilities to the best in the world.
"Now the club leads the premier league when it comes to reducing its emissions and we're doing our part on the grounds side of that. We use battery-powered mowers for maintaining the pitches and with the arrival from STAR EV now have an all-electric fleet for the grounds too. It really represents how far the club has come."
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