Essex horticulture apprentice crowned greenkeeping champion

October 2016

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

Writtle University College’s Horticulture Apprentice Jimmy Heritage has been awarded the Toro Student Greenkeeper Award at a prestigious ceremony held at the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) headquarters in York.

Jimmy, 24, is currently studying a Level 3 Work-based Diploma in Greenkeeping at Writtle whilst putting his knowledge and skills into practice at Maylands Golf Club in Romford. He impressed the judging panel, comprised of representatives from BIGGA, Toro and Reesink Turfcare, due to his knowledge, skills, passion and drive for the greenkeeping industry.

Jimmy said: “I was not expecting to win. When you come to the finals you are surrounded by people who are experts in their field and you certainly don’t consider yourself the best of the bunch. It hasn’t quite sunk in yet, but I am sure it will eventually.”

Nigel Beckford, Course Manager for Horticultural Apprenticeships at Writtle University College, congratulated Jimmy. He said: “I am very proud of Jimmy and it’s great to see him being recognised for his hard work. He has shown great passion, dedication and talent throughout his studies and at his workplace.”

BIGGA Chief Executive Officer Jim Croxton said: “Every year the standard keeps getting better and better, and I don’t envy the task of the judges, who had to choose between our fantastic finalists. I am so excited by the amount of talent on show as it gives me great confidence that the future of golf is in good hands. I am really grateful to our friends at Toro and Reesink for once again supporting these awards.”

As part of his prize, Jimmy wins a seven-week scholarship at the University of Massachusetts in the USA, as well as a visit to the Golf Industry Show and Education Conference in Orlando and a trip to Toro’s headquarters in Minneapolis. Jimmy’s tutor Nigel Beckford will attend the show and conference in Orlando.

The Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards is a nationwide contest hosted by greenkeepers’ association BIGGA, turfcare machinery manufacturers Toro, and machinery distributor Reesink Turfcare.