Course manager takes role

The Greenkeepers Training Committee (GTC) has revealed that Trentham Golf Club’s course manager, Ed Stant (pictured above), has been appointed chairperson of the group that works to produce and administer formal educational opportunities for greenkeepers in the UK.

The appointment was made following The Richmond Golf Club Course Manager Les Howkins MG’s decision to step down as chairperson of the Greenkeeping Trailblazer Group following a successful tenure.
Trailblazer groups are responsible for developing a new apprenticeship for an occupation and then revising the apprenticeship as needed. Since becoming chairperson in 2021, Les has steered the group, navigating the collaboration with the Sports Turf Trailblazer Group to develop the Level 3 Advanced Sports Turf Technician apprenticeship, which was approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) in October 2022.
No sooner had the new Level 3 apprenticeship been approved than Les began leading the group to review the Level 2 Golf Greenkeeper apprenticeship. Great strides have been made so far say the committee, and this work will continue under the leadership of Ed, who will step up from the vice chairperson role. Gavin Sowden, environment and health & safety officer at Woburn Golf Club, will become vice chairperson. Both will move into office at The GTC-BIGGA standardisation meeting for training providers, being held in Harrogate during BTME in January.
Les Howkins MG, outgoing chairperson of the Golf Greenkeeping Trailblazer Group, said: “After two years as the Trailblazer chairperson, I am pleased to announce that Ed Stant will be taking over as chairperson in January 2023. Ed has been an excellent deputy for several years and has proved to have a very strong understanding of the role and the apprenticeship scheme. I am sure Ed will fulfil the role with honour and pride and ensure the greenkeeping apprenticeships remain world leading and fit for purpose for many years to come.
“Stepping into the deputy role is Gavin Sowden. With the full support and backing of Woburn Golf Club, I have no doubt Gavin will form a strong partnership with Ed and together the greenkeeping apprenticeship will go from strength to strength.
“I have enjoyed my years as Trailblazer chairperson and I must thank The GTC’s Fiona Lyttle for all her hard work and dedication to the scheme. Without Fiona, none of what we have achieved would have been possible.”
Ed Stant said: “I am delighted to accept the position of Trailblazer chairperson, taking over from Les Howkins MG, who has done a fantastic job over the past few years. Apprenticeships are such a vital route into our profession and often the building blocks for many young people entering the world of greenkeeping. I hope I can do the position proud and offer BIGGA and The GTC the support and encouragement they need. Special thanks goes to Fiona Lyttle at The GTC, who works so tirelessly for greenkeeping.”

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