Top of the turf: working as a Professional Groundsman

Ryan Golding is a Professional Groundsman for Leeds Rugby and is responsible for their training facility.  He took some time out to tell icould more about his role and his route to the rugby field.

Tell us about the job you’re doing now.  What does it involve?

My job involves maintaining the playing surfaces for Leeds Rugby which is a partnership of Leeds Rhinos Rugby League Club and Leeds Carnegie Rugby Union Club. I supervise and manage the training ground based at Kirkstall.

What is the most exciting aspect of your work?

The most exciting aspect of my work is delivering quality surfaces for world class players to practise on. Whether this is our domestic teams or international teams that use our facilities.

Would your classmates from school be surprised at what you’re doing now?

I think my classmates would be very surprised at what I am doing now. It is quite an unique and unheard of job to go into but very rewarding.

Was there a teacher who had a particularly strong influence on you and if so in what way?

There wasn’t really a single teacher who had a strong influence on me, but all of my teachers did encourage me to be the best I can in the career I chose.

What school subjects were you good at and have any been surprisingly helpful later on?

I was always quite good at Maths and Science and both have really been a extremely useful in my job. Groundsmanship is an industry where you use all of the subjects given to you at school.

How did you decide what you wanted to do after school?

I did my work experience at a football club as a Groundsman and enjoyed it that much I realised that’s what I wanted to do when I had finished. I sent off to every club I could think of in every sport and fortunately enough the opportunity at Leeds Rugby came along.

Did you take a gap year? Did it influence any decisions later in life?

I didn’t take a gap year and and carried on with my career.

If you went to university what was your university experience like?

I went to Askham Bryan College in York for five years and gained my level two and three in Sportsturf with my technical certificate and all chemical application qualifications.

What has been the proudest moment of your life so far?

The proudest moment of my career was going away to America with a group of young Groundsmen representing the United Kingdom at a future sports turf managers seminar.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

I would like to see myself as a Head Groundsman at the highest level possible to me which also may take me abroad.

What advice would you give someone still at school who wants to do what you’re doing now?

Work very hard and don’t give up hope of securing a position in Groundsmanship. There is always help there if you need it. You can always start off volunteering at your local sports club and move on from there.

Can you give us a link for more information?