Iestyn John

Age: 30

Questions and Answers

From a young age I have been involved in the family business in one way or another. I always took an interest in what my Dad was doing, and spent many hours when I was younger out with my Dad and Grandad when they were working. I loved being outside and watching the various machinery working and eventually using the machinery myself. Due to becoming involved at such a young age I developed a love for the job and have never imagined myself doing anything else.
I was lucky in many ways that I had industry-related work experience from a young age within the family business, so it was through the family business that I got into the industry. My Dad and Grandad were members of the IOG and I used to attend various meetings and seminars with them to meet new people within the industry.
Since the age of 16 I have completed various training in groundsmanship, these qualifications include:
BTEC national diploma in greenkeeping and groundsmanship
NVQ2 and NVQ3 in sportsturf
Spraying certificates PA1, PA6 and PA2
Chainsaw license, trailer license and first aid at work qualifications
Foundation degree in sportsturf management
Work based/NVQ assessors qualification
EWCB county pitch advisors qualification
I attend as any meetings, seminars and training courses as I can, to keep up to date with the latest products and technology within the industry. I believe it is important to keep up to date and keep learning in an ever changing industry.
My job involves the day to day running of the family contracting business alongside my Dad. Daily tasks are quite varied but will normally involve carrying out a range of sportsturf maintenance tasks, including preparing bowling greens and cricket squares in the summer months and rugby and football pitches in the winter months. As well as carrying out the work on the sports surfaces my job also involves dealing with our customers, staff management, planning work schedules and ordering materials, contract management and preparing quotes.
The most challenging part of my job is dealing with the great British weather. Another challenge is producing the best possible playing surface with a limited budget and within a short timescale. Although the job is challenging, I wouldn’t want to do anything else.
Receiving positive feedback from our customers is very rewarding and makes you realise that they appreciate what you are doing.
Winning the Student Groundsman of the Year award in 2009 was a very proud moment for me and also being invited to sit on the IOG Young Board of Directors in 2011 was a great honour.
I would like to develop and grow the family business with the possibility of taking on more staff in the future. I want to continue the business that my Dad and Grandad have worked hard to build over the past 25 years.
My Dad and Grandad as they have encouraged me to go away and get formal qualifications within Ggoundsmanship and they are the reason I am in the industry today. I also admire the lower league groundsmen who work so hard with little or no budget yet still produce high quality sports surfaces to play on.
I enjoy meeting up with the other Young IOG DDirectors to exchange ideas and discuss how we can change the image of groundsmanship to encourage other young people into the industry. I also enjoy networking and meeting new people at the various events that we attend.
I enjoy watching sport and socialising and having a laugh with my friends.