In this Q+A with volunteer rugby groundsman Andy Collings, we ask him nine questions on life as a relatively new groundsman . The blog contains questions like what is the best piece of advice you have been given and have to give to others.
Name and Club where you work and what’s your role?
Andy Collings and Billericay Rugby Club. I’ve been a member for 32 years. Been a Player, Referee, Coach, Youth Chairman, Barman, Chef… you name it!
How did you end up being a volunteer groundsman?
I started a youth section when my youngest was 5 (He’s now 19) and the added volume of traffic on the small field we have needed attention. I bought a gang mower at an auction and towed it round with my truck.
Describe yourself in three words?
Committed, Determined and Patient.
Best advice received has got to be Aeration, Aeration, Aeration from Keith Kent . Andy Collings-Billericay RugbyTweet
In order what’s your most vital equipment/machinery?
Couldn’t do anything without the equipment we got subsidised from the RFU. John Deere Tractor, Striker Mower and Redixim Sportplay. The other piece we couldn’t be without is our Greentek Aeroquick.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given and do you have one piece of advice to pass onto new volunteer groundsmen?
Best advice received has got to be Aeration, Aeration, Aeration from Keith Kent and to pass on don’t be afraid to ask questions to people with more experience.
How did you learn the basics of the role?
What in your view on your site is key to keeping pitches playable?
Buy in from the players and members.
Trying to make everyone aware, via our facebook group, just what goes on to keep the one floodlit pitch available for four nights a week and Saturday and Sunday use. We’re getting there!
What’s the major projects/tasks you have carried out in your time to improve the site and have they been fruitful?
The last few summer’s renovations. We’ve had contractors in to Vertidrain, overdress and reseed.
This Summer we installed a new drainage channel down the middle of our 2nd/ floodlit training pitch.
Trying to keep on top of clearing the brook than runs behind our place otherwise we flood in Winter.
Best thing and worse thing about being a volunteer groundsman and would you recommend it to others and why?
Best thing is being outside in decent weather and seeing the results of the work.
The worst thing is being helpless to improve things in the worst of Winter and having games called off. I would recommend it to others. Being outside is great for your health, mental and physical and I love seeing 300 kids at the club on a Sunday enjoying the sport I love.
To follow Andy on his Twitter account , just hit this link- https://twitter.com/BGroundsman
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