Martin Stephenson

Age: 30


Questions and Answers

After enjoying my work experience placement from school, aged 15 at Ashbrooke Sports Club, I knew that Groundsmanship was the industry for me. I also knew that I would always be involved in Sport.
I have always loved sport and the opportunity to help tend a cricket pitch in Australia convinced me that groundsmanship was the career for me. As a keen sportsman especially adept at cricket, I had planned to become a PE teacher and it was while awaiting confirmation for a Sports Science degree placement at Sunderland University that, as an 18-year-old, I was offered the chance to go to Australia for seven months under the jurisdiction of the Durham Cricket Academy. On arrival back to the UK, I was offered a grounds position at Ashbrooke Sports Club, Sunderland.
I completed my NPTC Level 2 and NPTC Level 3 during my Apprenticeship at East Durham College. In that time I also attended, and continue to attend, many IOG short courses from Winter Pitches to Bowls and Cricket courses. These have really helped me expand my knowledge further. I have also completed First Aid Training, Manual Handling Training, Safe Use of Pesticides PA1 and PA6.
A foundation degree in Sports Turf, would appeal to me. I hear very good feedback from people who have completed their degree, on how useful and beneficial it is to have this qualification. This is something I am sure I will be looking into as I gain further experience as a groundsman.
Working at Ashbrooke Sports Club involves a wide range of day to day tasks. The sports club has various sporting facilities including American Football, Bowls, Cricket, Football, Rugby, Squash, Tennis, two artificial surfaces and the neighbouring Ryhope Road ground. These must all be kept in first class condition. Monitoring the Health and Safety in the workplace and completing the associated paperwork including Risk Assessments, Method Statements and Pesticide Application Rate Forms. Carrying out daily and weekly maintenance checks, and regular safety checks in order to ensure safe working practices are followed at all time. I have the role of providing multi sports to the members and public of the Sunderland area.
Looking after a multi sports club is a daily challenge trying to provide the highest standard of playing surfaces for the members of Ashbrooke Sports Club and the people of Sunderland.
Positive feedback from players, officials and spectators is one of the most rewarding. It is this feedback that gives me more motivation on a day-to-day basis.
Completing my NPTC Level 3 in Sports Turf at East Durham College and getting involved in the IOG Young Board of Directors. Being awarded at the IOG Industry Awards 2013, Most Promising Groundscare Student of the Year Award at The Ricoh Arena, Coventry and also being awarded at the IOG Industry Awards 2014, Rigby Taylor/Top Green Young Groundsman of the Year Award at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes.
There are many people I admire in the industry. The most inspirational person for me would have to be Bert Boston. He has been a great mentor and true friend since I started Ashbrooke Sports Club in 2007, and his knowledge of the industry is excellent.
I enjoy trying to inspire other young people into the world of groundsmanship. Being apart of the Young Board of Directors is an absolute honour and I am looking forward to the challenge of raising the profile of the grounds industry for young people.
Sport is a big part of my life, I play cricket for Seaham Harbour CC in the ECB North-East Premier League. I enjoy music on all different levels, I go to see live music on a regular basis. Socialising with friends is a major part of my lifestyle too.