Turf & Rec

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Sports Turf Association set to honour its own


March 8, 2013
By Mike Jiggens

When one does a good job in his or her field, it’s nice to be formally
recognized and applauded for that work. In the entertainment world, the
Oscar is awarded to those who excel in motion pictures, the Grammy is
awarded to the best in the music industry and the Emmy is presented to
the best in television.

Professional sports leagues present most valuable player awards to athletes who are their organization’s respective cream of the crop.

Even in the everyday world, businesses will acknowledge employees of the month, paying credit where credit is due.

In the turfgrass industry, the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association pays tribute annually to its superintendent of the year. Nursery trades and landscaping associations honour their top achievers each year.

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And now, for the first time, sports turf managers will be getting their due.

The Sports Turf Association announced in February at the Ontario Turfgrass Symposium that it has launched a sports turf manager-of-the-year program and is entertaining nominations for a deserving individual. See page 32 for details about award criteria and how to nominate someone.

It’s a fitting tribute to whomever is selected for the honour, especially in this day and age when his or her hands have been tied more so than in previous decades. In provinces and municipalities where there exist bans on being able to use certain pesticides to ensure playable, safe sports turf, these managers are challenged to produce conditions their users demand yet without the same tools they were once accustomed to using.

Tightened municipal budgets have also contributed in many cases to the challenges sports turf managers face on a day-to-day basis.

Anyone who can rise above these challenges and still deliver the types of sports fields the public wants is, indeed, a worthy candidate for this new award.

But there are many other aspects to be considered of a potential sports turf manager-of-the-year candidate, including contributions to the industry, environmental stewardship, progressive management techniques, commitment to continuing education and leadership of interns and students.

There are undoubtedly several candidates belonging to the Sports Turf Association who meet the necessary criteria for consideration, and it will be a difficult job to make the inaugural selection.

Congratulations to Brian Youell, superintendent at Victoria, B.C.’s Uplands Golf Club, who was named superintendent-of-the-year for 2012 by the CGSA.

Not one to rest on his laurels, he spoke in January in Toronto at the Canadian International Turfgrass Conference and Trade Show about the need to always seek continued education in order to be able to adapt to changing trends and techniques.

He also promoted a couple of means to perfect one’s ability to be able to deal more professionally and confidently with others, mentioning his training with both Toastmasters and Dale Carnegie as good examples for self-improvement.