As Grounds Week 2022 kicks off, research by the the Grounds Management Association (GMA) shows that 77% of outdoor workers feel rewarded and a strong sense of achievement, compared to 47% of people working behind a desk.
Katie Stott is an Apprentice Sports Turf Operative, at Sports Park Weetwood, part of the University of Leeds. She finds that her role has improved her work-life balance.
“I’ve always loved gardening and being outdoors. After my degree in Events Management at Leeds Met I wasn’t sure which path to take, but after volunteering as a gardener in Churwell, I realised that grounds and garden work was really rewarding.
“I find it great for my wellbeing too. When I get home at the end of the working day, I’m ready for my evening rather than feeling tired from being indoors at a desk all day.”
Katie is studying for a Level 2 in Sports Turf Operative alongside her work to help build her career.
University Grounds and Gardens team
The University has an extensive and highly skilled Grounds and Gardens team who are responsible for the management and maintenance of the green estate.
This includes sports ground maintenance, managing the tree stock, maintaining campus landscaping, and much more.
Dave Thackray is a Groundsman in the team. He has seen many changes in the way that grounds are maintained.
“The job is very varied, and like many other professions, technology has made a huge difference.
“We now use a robot for line marking the pitches, for example. It can be programmed for whatever size and configuration you need, and left to do its job. We can then get on with other tasks.”
Grounds Week 2022
Grounds Week shines a light on the work of those in the profession who work with skill and dedication to produce quality surfaces for sports and recreational spaces all year round.
Sometimes labelled the ‘hidden profession’, the GMA is helping young people and those outside of the sector to understand what the involves, and how to get into the sector.
The GMA’s polling of 352 people who work indoors and 100 people who work outdoors, was carried out between January 2022 and February 2022, in partnership with Censuswide. The research seeks to understand how fulfilled people feel in their current career/role, and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on this.
A separate survey was carried out by the Grounds Management Association, between January 2022 and February 2022. During this period, 318 grounds staff and volunteers were polled.
Find out more about Grounds Week 2022.