Winners of the 2017 BALI National Landscape Awards recently enjoyed an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the All England Lawn Tennis Club Wimbledon, hosted and organised by ICL and awards headline sponsor Green-tech.
The event began with an introduction from Mark Pyrah, ICL’s Landscape & Industrial Manager for UK & Ireland and Tom Parker, Purchasing and Commercial Director of Green-tech, before handing over to Head of Courts and Horticulture Neil Stubley.
Neil described the meticulous planning and hard work required to deliver the tennis championships, which is watched by more than one billion people worldwide. He presented an overview of the site and its facilities, which includes 44 grass courts, five indoor courts, eight American Clay courts, eight Plexipave Acrylic courts and three croquet lawns.
As well as highlighting the progress of trial work conducted in partnership with the STRI, Neil revealed how much tennis is played on the courts at Wimbledon. In 2017, 658 matches were played totalling 3,177 hours, across 38 grass courts during the championships, in addition to a further 25 tournaments as well as regular usage from the club’s 375 private members who are free to play on the courts until they close in September.
After lunch, the award winners received an access-all-areas tour by Neil, including a visit to the Centre Court, the media centre, and the current construction works of the No.1 Court. Work on the extensive reconstruction, which will see a retractable roof and wider, more comfortable spectator seating, began after last year’s Championships and is set to be completed in time for the 2019 Championships.
Reflecting on the successful day, Mark Pyrah from ICL, who organised the event, said: “We were delighted to welcome the 2017 BALI award winners and show them the world-class facilities at Wimbledon. They were hugely impressed by Neil and his team’s attention to detail. It was a very successful event, and I’d like to thank Neil for his time and expertise in offering us an insight into groundsmanship practices at the highest level.”
Tom Parker from Green-tech added: “We feel privileged to have been able to visit such a world-class venue to celebrate the success of the Bali Award winners. The level of quality, technical development and ambition of Wimbledon is extraordinary and it was amazing to have such an exclusive experience.”