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Stukas of Toronto is first sports turf manager of the year


May 30, 2014
By Mike Jiggens

THE newly renamed Sports Turf Canada (formerly the Sports Turf Association) has named its first ever sports turf manager of the year.

Ray Stukas, manager of parks, Toronto and East York District, for the City of Toronto, is the first recipient of the honour.
With more than 30 years of experience in parks operations and maintenance, including turf management involving sports fields, he served in a leadership role in 2012 and 2013 with the organization of Toronto’s new Outdoor Sports Field Improvement Program in which more than 650 sports fields throughout the city were addressed.

Communication with sports field stakeholders city-wide was also guided by Stukas and involved 16 public meetings which discussed permit issues, capital planning for field upgrades and field maintenance.

“With the leadership and commitment displayed by Ray Stukas in the areas of community consultation, public engagement and best practice initiatives, among others, we are pleased to honour him as the inaugural sports turf manager of the year,” announced association president Tennessee Propedo.

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The award honours an individual’s professional ability and contribution to the Canadian sports turf industry and shows appreciation for his or her proactive and progressive efforts within the profession.

By sponsoring this award, the Guelph Turfgrass Institute assists in the recognition of sports turf managers who exemplify vision and leadership in the sports turf industry.

“The GTI is honoured to partner with Sports Turf Canada in the creation of this award that will help promote and recognize outstanding sports turf managers in Canada,” said GTI director Rob Witherspoon.

The nomination deadline for the 2015 sports turf manager of the year is Dec. 1, 2014. Visit http://www.sportsturfcanada.com for eligibility, criteria and the nomination form.

Sports Turf Canada was established in 1987 when after a brain storming session at the University of Guelph a broad segment of the turf industry endorsed its need. Of particular concern at that meeting was the need to minimize and avoid injury to participants using athletic fields where they relate to sports turf. More than a quarter-century later, Sports Turf Canada continues to promote better, safer sports turf through innovation, education and professional programs.