Grounds Management Association Young Board of Directors
Sam Cain'S STORY
GMA Young Board Member

Sam Cain

GMA Young Board Member

Reading time: 10 minutes

GMA Young Board


23-year-old Sam Cain is committed to showing young people the wide range of career opportunities available in the industry. After having studied Graphic Design and Communication at Central Saint Martins, Sam recognised a gap in the market and began his business creating innovative line marking designs for underused open spaces in schools and public areas. His business, Cain Markings, now designs, produces and maintains high-quality line markings for a host of surfaces and venues. Sam credits the experience and skills he gained at university as helping him to succeed, and his Dad as his biggest inspiration, having worked his way up in groundscare from an apprentice to an operations manager.

Sam Cain, GMA Young Board Member
With my Dad in the industry, I’ve grown up around groundscare, so it’s always been in my blood. It hasn’t been an easy ride trying to start my own business. It’s been a challenge and a huge learning curve, but I don’t regret it one bit. I really enjoy my work, it’s so rewarding to be able to see a process through from beginning to end. Helping the client by coming up with innovative ways to solve problems and seeing how happy they are with the finished result is just great.

Holly Jones, marketing manager at Reesink, says: “Seeing ambitious, young people progressing in the industry, learning from those with experience and through their own hard work and education, is always a delight. Here we learn how Sam intends to take his own experience of the industry and help make a positive change for young people at the beginning of their careers.”

Sam says: “Joining the GMA Young Board of Directors in November 2018, has already been a great experience so far and a real step for me in my career, opening up a lot of opportunities. Being able to speak to other people my age with similar views, sharing advice and knowledge, has been brilliant.”

So what do you hope to achieve by being on the board? “When you look at the board, it’s mostly made up of groundsmen at football clubs, so I’m one of the odd ones out, but that’s why I wanted to join. I wanted to be able to show young people that there are lots of opportunities and career paths you can take in grounds even if you don’t like football! There’s the business side where I am, but there are also jobs and opportunities in technology and at other sports venues such as tennis and basketball courts. “I’m really excited to begin my time on the board, helping to show another perspective and represent young people who are maybe wanting to go down a less traditional route. I think showing the range of opportunities available will really encourage young people to get more involved in the industry. Ultimately, I want to redefine what being in groundscare means, and make people realise it’s not just about working at a football club."What do you think is stopping younger people from getting into the industry? “I think as the industry is predominantly made up of an older generation, there is a very small percentage of people who feel as though they don’t need to listen to someone younger with new ideas. I think it would be hugely beneficial if there was a change in attitude around this as we need younger people involved to keep the industry going.”

So what can young groundscare professionals do to help their development? “I think if you are enthusiastic and keen and prepared to work hard, you can get really far in this industry. I would definitely recommend volunteering or getting work experience to get a taste of what it’s really like. I would also say to really consider educational routes. University was a great experience for me and taught me how to manage my time and run projects which prepared me for the working world.”

With Sam’s time on the GMA Young Board only just beginning, the coming year is set to be a busy one, as Sam is looking to improve the industry through his work on the board while also continuing to expand his company. 

Commenting on the GMA Young Board, GMA CEO Geoff Webb says: “The Young GMA Board is a great way for groundsmen and women to get involved and help shape our industry. Membership unlocks doors and potential, putting young people into new situations and stretching them, but at the same time opening up limitless opportunities and experiences. The social media network now stands at over 1,000 members which shows that there is real passion and interest in our profession, and we look to harness this with the Young Board programme.” 

Holly welcomes Sam as he joins the board and looks forward to the example he sets to many young people in the industry. “We are continuously seeing more and more people who are striving to make a positive impact upon the industry by encouraging younger people to get involved, which is brilliant. Appealing to a wider range of young people is incredibly important in securing the future of this industry and the work the GMA Young Board does for that is vital.”

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