For the second year in a row Myerscough College is celebrating one of its students being named the Institute of Groundsmanship ‘Young Groundsman of the Year’.
The accolade was awarded to 23-year-old Luke Dodge, from Blackburn, who works full-time as an assistant groundsman for the 2012 Premier League Champions, Manchester City, while studying online towards a Foundation Degree in Sportsturf Management with the Preston-based college.
Dodge received the award at the ‘Oscar-style’ IOG awards ceremony, held at York Racecourse last month.
Attended by more than 350 of the UK and Europe’s leading groundscare experts from both the professional and volunteer sectors, as well as dignitaries from the governing bodies of sport and influential sports administrators.
The annual IOG awards recognise leadership, innovation and outstanding achievement across every aspect of groundscare –from grassroots pitches to professional stadia.
The awards also celebrate the quality standards of groundscare achieved in public and private sports venues, and highlighted the progress of young and aspiring student grounds professionals.
Dodge said: “When I first found out I was nominated for the award I was a bit shocked – I didn’t even know my manager was planning to nominate me.
“I was very surprised to win the award especially as I was up against a fellow work colleague, which was something very unusual, but I felt very privileged to pick up the award.
“Winning this award will most definitely benefit me in the future as it is a great achievement to put on to my CV.
“It also opens avenues for me to make more contacts within the industry, especially with the IOG.”
Along with the prestige associated with the title, part of Dodge’s prize is a place on the IOG Young Board.
He said: “I’m sure this will benefit my career a great deal moving forward.”
Dodge started his career by working a placement opportunity at Blackburn Golf Club, near to his home in Ewood.
After leaving Blackburn Golf Club, he secured a full-time position at Blackburn Rovers.
Rovers then enrolled Dodge on an advanced apprenticeship in Sportsturf with Myerscough, which Dodge completed in 2006.
In 2009, Dodge secured a position with Manchester City, where he remains today, splitting his time between working at the club’s training ground (Carrington) and home venue at Sportscity in the heart of Manchester.
A year later, Dodge decided to continue his education by enrolling on the Foundation Degree (FdSc) in Sportsturf with Myerscough College, choosing the online study option to allow him to remainworking with Manchester City on a full-time basis.
His tutor at Myerscough College, Dr Andy Owen, said: “Everyone at Myerscough is proud of Luke for winning this prestigious award.
“He sets a positive example to those entering or thinking about entering the industry, and I’m positive he will go on and do great things in the future.
“He is bright and articulate young man and shows what a bright future our industry has.
“I feel proud that our online study option allows young people like Luke to continue their studies whilst working full-time.”