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NEWS Toro Student Greenkeepers BIGGA reveal the finalists of the Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year


‘jimmythemower’ blown away by Ransomes factory visit


Jimmy Broadhouse shot to social media fame when he posted a picture of a council pitch he cut in Bilbrook, South Staffordshire with the message, “it might only be a council field next to the tip, but to the kids round here playing football it’s Wembley. So I always cut it like it is.”


Jimmy’s now famous stripes were cut with a Parkway 225, and he’s used Ransomes mowers since starting his business, Ditton Services, with a MK 4 Motor Triple that he fully restored for commercial use with his late dad, who was a retired engineer.


Before the factory tour and a chance to stripe the turf on Ipswich Town’s Portman Road pitch, Jimmy cut the Ransomes football pitch with the Parkway 3 Meteor, before finding out the machine would be his for a year.


“I’m blown away by being invited down to Ransomes,” he said. “What an honour it is to be here and test drive a brand-new machine. To be presented with the keys and for them to say we can make one to spec is just unbelievable, it's the stuff of dreams.”


“I've had a fantastic day coming down to Ipswich, having a look round the factory and then to the football club. I walked across the pitch and had a look at the renovations for the coming season and stood in the middle of it and got to see what a fantastic job these guys do, I’m really, really chuffed to bits.”


Jimmy’s tweet has over 44k likes and has been seen more than 3m times on social media as well as his BBC Midlands video, which was trending number one on the BBC News website.


His tweet has struck a chord with groundsmen and the general public with an overwhelming number of positive comments and feedback coming Jimmy's way. Ransomes’ sales manager, John Quinton, is one of the millions that have seen the tweet and was delighted to show Jimmy around the factory and hand over the keys to his new mower.


“We wanted to surprise Jimmy by loaning him a new machine for a year because he’s made a real difference to those he's cutting pitches for and this is our way of recognising that. He has a genuine enthusiasm for his job and the Ransomes mowers he uses, and I’m really pleased we’ve had the opportunity to bring him to the factory because he’s had a great time.”


The British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association, alongside Toro and Reesink Turfcare, has revealed the eleven finalists who will contest this year’s Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards.


The 31st hosting of the finals of the prestigious awards will take place at BIGGA House in North Yorkshire, following a nationwide search for the country's leading student greenkeepers.


A record 46 students were nominated for the Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Award, with seven talented candidates making it through to the grand final, to be held on Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th September 2019.


Up for grabs will also be the fourth Toro Young Student Greenkeeper of the Year Award, which is only open to qualifying students under the age of 20 at the time they were nominated. Four candidates have been invited to attend the finals.


The Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year finalists are:


1. Thomas Bird, Sutton Coldfield 2. Daryn Curtis, Farleigh Court 3. James Dawson, Oulton Hall 4. Vince DeMarzo, The Wisley 5. Jason Norwood, Rudding Park 6. Matthew Strudwick, Royal Norwich 7. Nicholas Turner, Royal Dornoch


The Toro Young Student Greenkeeper of the Year finalists are: 1. Tom Bromfield, Trentham 2. Josh Marshall, The Worcestershire 3. Sam Richards, Sherborne 4. Lewis Westwood, Celtic Manor


Vince DeMarzo of The Wisley is set to become the first student ever to have participated in both awards. Vince was runner-up at the first Toro Young Student Greenkeeper of the Year Award in 2016, winning a trip to Continue to Learn at BTME in January 2017.


Each year the awards enable BIGGA, the UK's only membership association for golf greenkeepers, to work alongside its Partners, the turf maintenance equipment manufacturer


Toro and distributor Reesink Turfcare, to celebrate the next generation of talented greenkeepers who are dedicating themselves to a career within the industry.


The Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year winner will receive an eight-week all expenses paid scholarship to America, including a six- week residential turf management study course at the University of Massachusetts, a trip to the Golf Industry Show in Orlando, Florida and a visit to Toro's facilities.


The Toro Young Student Greenkeeper of the Year winner will receive a work experience placement at the exclusive Vidauban Golf Club in southern France. They will also receive a trip to Continue to Learn at BTME and enjoy a five- night package that includes hotel, four days of education, travel and £125 expenses, plus a Toro training voucher.


Stuart Green, head of member learning at BIGGA, said: “I was once again astounded by the enthusiasm and knowledge for the industry shown by the candidates and it's clear that the future of the industry is in safe hands.”


"My thanks go to Toro and Reesink Turfcare in their continued support and thanks go to everyone who took part this year.”


Amenity Standard launch


The Amenity Forum is holding its annual conference and exhibition on October 10th, an event which has become very much ‘must attend’ for all involved in or with an interest in amenity management.


This year the theme is ‘21st Century Amenity Management’ and is set to be the best yet with some excellent speakers and exhibitors. It will be held at the Pirelli Stadium at Burton on Trent. Tickets are £85 + VAT for early birds booking before 1st September 2019.


The Amenity Forum is set to launch the new Amenity Standard at the conference. This standard, akin to the Red Tractor in the food sector, will provide assurance to all that operations are being undertaken to recognised assurance scheme levels. Also, very soon, the


10 PC August/September 2019


Forum will be publishing a document and template to help operators and others in producing integrated management plans.


Professor John Moverley, the independent chairman of the Forum, said '”Over the last ten years, the Forum has developed strong recognition for the work of those in the amenity sector. We embrace all sectors of our diverse and essential sector and have pushed forward standards and engagement and commitment to best practice. We now seek to fully drive this forward and a key objective is to increase public awareness of the professionalism of our sector and provide the facts about what is undertaken - exciting times'.”


For further information, contact admin@amenityforum.net


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