Musselburgh groundsman in the running for prize

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The skills of Musselburgh Racecourse’s head groundsman, and the facilities of Edinburgh’s Spartans Community Football Academy, are being recognised by this year’s Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) Industry Awards - the UK-wide scheme that highlights the high standards of volunteer and professional grounds professionals and facilities, from grass roots to professional stadia level.

Mark Bemrose of Musselburgh Racecourse, is a finalist for the IOG John Deere Professional Horse Racing Groundsman of the Year Award, while The Spartans Community Football Academy is a finalist for the IOG Redexim Charterhouse/Kubota Best Maintained Artificial Pitch of the Year Award.

The winners were due to be announced at York Racecourse yesterday (Thursday) by talkSPORT radio presenter, Mark Saggers.

With a solid reputation for producing the perfect racetrack, as well as blooming flower beds, sparkling rails and lush lawns in the Musselburgh paddock area, Mark leads a team of four groundstaff at the racetrack.

Their ethos is to pull together, with each playing to their individual strengths. Proof of Mark’s expertise and leadership skills were witnessed this year when the course was changed from flat to National Hunt configuration in just a week.

Organised by the Institute of Groundsmanship - the leading membership organisation for everyone involved in the management of sports pitches, landscape and amenity facilities - the annual Awards embrace categories of entry covering sport, young people and the environment.

The 2012 Awards are sponsored by a number of sporting organisations including the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, the Football Association, the Lawn Tennis Association, the Premier League and the Rugby Football League.

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