Grounds Management Association Young Board of Directors
Luke Russell'S STORY
Groundsman, Leicester City Football Club

Luke Russell

Groundsman, Leicester City Football Club

Reading time: 3 minutes

GMA Young Board


Volunteering, work experience, training and a National Diploma in Horticulture, Luke’s path to his position as groundsman at Leicester City is all encompassing and gives him plenty of real-life experience to bring to his role as a Young Board director.

It's fantastic to see so many volunteers up and down the country who work extremely hard and give up a lot of their free time, usually alongside working full time jobs, to maintain and produce sports surfaces at grassroots level to the best standard they can. It's these volunteers who I really admire.

"I have played sports since a young age and always been involved in sports clubs and teams that have provided their own pitches to play on," explains Luke. "This is where my interest in groundsmanship came from. I enjoyed helping maintain the pitches I played on and it was from there that I decided groundsmanship was the career for me. Alongside volunteering at my local cricket club, I worked for a small gardening company throughout the school summer holidays. On leaving school I enrolled in a Level 3 National Diploma in Horticulture at Warwickshire College. A requirement of this was taking on two months’ work experience and I was lucky enough to secure a place at Coventry City Football Club, this is where I entered the industry on a full-time basis."

And now you work at Leicester City Football Club, what does your job involve? "I am based at the King Power Stadium, where I work as part of a team to maintain the pitch for all first team and under 23 fixtures and various other events that may be held at the stadium. I also join the team at our Belvoir Drive Training Ground, helping to maintain the eight pitch facility. One of the most challenging parts of my job is consistency in producing the same high quality surfaces time and time again as there are so many variables daily, whether this be the weather or match/training schedules just to name a few."

"One of my greatest achievements is being accepted on to the IOG Young Board of Directors. It's great to help create interest in the industry and groundsmanship as a whole - particularly getting the younger generation to consider groundsmanship as their chosen career path."

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