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Rugby groundsman
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Headingley groundsman Jason Booth with a huge lawnmower
Jason is always trying to prepare the perfect pitch
Think you can prepare the pitches for the rugby professionals to play on?

Headingley head groundsman Jason Booth tells BBC Sport Academy what the job involves.


How long have you been working as a groundsman at Headingley and how did the job come about?

I was a YTS cricket trainee with Yorkshire Cricket Club when I was 18-years-old and part of it was doing different jobs around the ground.

And that's when I fell in love with it all.

I managed an arrangement whereby I spent three days playing cricket and two days working with the groundstaff.

Yorkshire decided to release me and I started full-time on the groundstaff in 1991. And the rest, as they say, is history.

What do you do?

I look after the main pitches at the Headingley stadium, as well as tending to all the training pitches at our new training centre at Kirkstall.

Leeds Tykes tussle in a line out with Newcastle
The Tykes are in action every week

Describe an average day as head groundsman at Headingley?

We don't have average days!

We have times when we have two different matches going on over the course of one weekend.

For instance, the Rhinos, the rugby league team, will play on Friday while the Tykes, the rugby union team, will play on the Sunday.

This means marking out two different pitches, as well as arranging logos and adverts, for the two different sports.

What sort of hours does the job involve?

There are no set hours. When there's a job to be done, we do it.

Through the winter we sometimes work seven days a week because there is so much work to do.

You have to be very flexible. If you want to be a groundsman, forget your social life because the job is so demanding on your time.



The job
What you need

Jason Booth factfile
Age: 29
Job: Head groundsman, Headingley stadium
Years on groundstaff: 11
Lives: Leeds, Yorkshire

Jason's tip for success
Ask your local club groundsman if you can help them out and see what they do


INTERNET LINKS >>
:: Institute of Groundsmanship
:: Leeds Rugby

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