Groundsman hit for six by award nomination

TAKING PRIDE:  Ashbrooke groundsman Martin Stephenson is in the running for a top award.

TAKING PRIDE: Ashbrooke groundsman Martin Stephenson is in the running for a top award.

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A GROUNDSMAN has been hit for six after being nominated for a prestigious award for the second year running.

Green-fingered Martin Stephenson, 26, from Seaham, has been short-listed as a finalist in Young Groundsman of the Year after winning a student category in the industry awards last year.

Martin, who is grounds assistant manager at Ashbrooke Sports Club, will go head to head with groundsman from some of the country’s biggest sports and football grounds at the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) Awards.

Judges from the awards will be heading to Ashbrooke Sports Club, which recently celebrated its 125th anniversary, to see how Martin helps to keep it in tip top condition for a range of sports.

Martin said: “A lot of those short-listed just deal with a one specific type of ground, like a football pitch. But we have a host of sports and events here.”

Last year, Martin won Student of the Year Award at the same awards and he has since graduated from East Durham College’s Houghall Campus.

Martin said: “I think what impresses them is taking pride in your work and doing the simple things well.”

He will find out if he’s been successful for a second year running at a ceremony at stadiumMK in Milton Keynes on December 4.