Baroness Level 3 Scholarship Fund

Supported by Baroness

Thanks to generous support from Baroness, Scholarships for BIGGA members undertaking their Level 3 qualification in Sportsturf are available.

Designed to help greenkeeper members of BIGGA to gain their technical and supervisory qualification, the scholarships may be awarded to those studying for the following qualifications:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Work-based Horticulture (Sports Turf - Greenkeeper)
  • SVQ Level 3 Sports Turf Management

The fund may award scholarships of up to 50% of the cost of the course however, it will be capped at £1000.

Eligibility:

All Full members of BIGGA, who hold a Level 2 qualification (or equivalent) can apply for a Level 3 Sportsturf scholarship.

To be eligible for a scholarship, applicants must meet the following:

1. Be a Full Member of BIGGA
2. Have been a BIGGA Member for a minimum of 2 years
3. Be employed as a full-time greenkeeper
4. Hold a Level 2 or equivalent qualification in Sportsturf
5. Must not already be funded through the Apprenticeship scheme
6. Provide confirmation from the training provider that you have been accepted on the course and showing the total cost of the qualification

If you are awarded a Baroness Level 3 Scholarship your name will be included:

  • On the BIGGA website
  • In posts across BIGGA's social media platforms
  • In Greenkeeper International

Your details will also be shared with Baroness.

To apply for a Level 3 Scholarship, download an application form from your My BIGGA pages.

2022

Charlie Brown

Greenkeeper at Swinley Forest Golf Club

2021

David Harman

Greenkeeper, North Hants Golf Club

2020

Lawrence Jones (Expand for more info)

Greenkeeper, Warren Golf & Country Club

How did the scholarship support you in your goals?

It helped me to further my career at a time when I couldn't afford to completely fund it myself, enabling me take a positive step forward.

How did you find the learning experience with your college/employer?

I completed my course with the Berkshire College of Agriculture with Rob Phillips. Rob was great in supporting me throughout.

What have you achieved since completing your qualification?

Towards the end of my qualification I moved to a different course, with more opportunities and a higher standard of greenkeeping. Once I completed the course I received a pay increase.

Why do you think scholarships are important?

I think scholarships are important because they give people opportunities to improve themselves and move forward in their careers, which they wouldn't necessarily have otherwise.

What would you say to another BIGGA member who may be interested in finding out about the scholarship?

Do some research and apply! You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain, so take a positive step in furthering your career.

2019

Bill Whybrow

International member, Lucern Golf Club, Switzerland

Louis Dunn-Allen

Unattached member

Jamie Baglin (Expand for more info)

Greenkeeper, Sitwell Park Golf Club

Jamie Baglin.jpg

 

How did the scholarship help you achieve your goals?

It helped fund my course, which was the Sports Turf Level 3 and which I successfully passed in July 2021.

How did you find the learning experience with your college/learning provider and employer?

It was really enjoyable as my tutor, Andy Kenworthy, would either visit me at Sitwell Park or Zoom call every six weeks. My workmates would help me take pictures and collect evidence for my course.

What have you achieved since completing your qualification?

I have been spraying greens due to passing my PA2 qualification, I received a payrise and I was offered a deputy head greenkeeper role due to having this qualification, although I had to turn it down.

Why do you think scholarships are important?

They help you achieve personal career goals that are out of reach if you can not afford them yourself.

What would you say to another BIGGA member who may be interested in finding out about the scholarship?

Go for it as it really helps with the funding of the course and most employers want their staff to be the best they can be.

2016

Lee Davies

Greenkeeper

JonJo Pitts (Expand for more info)

Course Manager, Chesfield Downs

JonJo Pitts web.jpg

How did the scholarship support you in your goals?

THe Baroness scholarship not only helped towards the funding of the Level 3 qualification, but gave me the drive and incentive to further my professional development.

How did you find the learning experience with your college/employer?

I studied my NVQ Level 3 at Oaklands College with assessor Steve Allen while employed at Royston Golf Club under course manager Ian Coote. I could not fault the experience of either college or exmployer for the duration of my qualification. I was extremely well-supported throughout, which helped to motivate me to complete my work to the highest standard I could. As far as learning experiences go, I couldn't have been offered any better.

What have you achieved since completing your qualification?

Having completed my Level 3, I then went on to attend the Future Turf Managers Initiative (FTMI), a course aimed at up-and-coming greenkeepers wishing to take the step into course management. I have since made that leap in my career, progressing from deputy course manager at Royston Golf Club to course manager at Chesfield Downs Golf & Country Club.

Why are scholarships important to the industry?

The funding that scholarships provide help to motivate greenkeepers to continue their development with qualifications, especially in those cases where funding through their employers may not be accessible.

What would you say to another BIGGA member who is interested in finding out about the scholarship?

Go for it! If you have completed Level 2 you should have no reason to not want to progress even further. You will receive incredible support from your employers, colleges and assessors as well as the vast greenkeeping community.

Sam Sweetzer (Expand for more info)

Greenkeeper, The Buckinghamshire

Sam Sweetzer web.jpg

How did the scholarship support you in your goals?

Gaining my Level 3 Scholarship really helped to build confidence before heading across the pond on the Ohio State Program. It enabled me to be given more responsibility and therefore a stronger CV upon my return to the UK.

How was the learning experience with your college and employer?

It was really great. My tutor, Andy Wight at Oaklands College, was extremely helpful and was always available for contact if necessary. I was working at West Hill Golf Club in Surrey at the time under Ben Edwards. I can say it was the most enjoyable years of my career to date. Ben and the club supported me with various qualifications and volunteering. He was a great role model and helped me to learn the trade during my early greenkeeping years.

Why do you think scholarships are important?

The qualification is key if you want to progress within the industry, but many individuals and clubs are unable to fund these qualifications. These scholarships help to improve the knowlesge and skills of greenkeepers. The individual benefits from the scholarship and the industry also benefits as a result.

What would you say to another BIGGA member who may be interested in  the scholarship?

Find out as much as you can and apply. It's not a scary process and is very simple in fact. The BIGGA website is a great source of information and you can also speak with your golf course manager, who I'm sure would be keen to help in any way.

2015

Chris Ahier

Greenkeeper, Piltdown Golf Club

Daniel Green

Greenkeeper, Aspley Guise & Woburn Sands Golf Club

Mark Downing

Greenkeeper, Launceston Golf Club

Stuart Ponfield

Deputy Head Greenkeeper, Farrington Park

Robert Patton

First Assistant

Mike Riddell

Greenkeeper

2014

Craig Carolan

Groundsperson, University of Warwick

James Wilkinson

Mechanic, The Buckinghamshire Golf Club

Wesley Lenihan (Expand for more info)

Head Greenkeeper, Ealing Golf Club

Wesley Lenihan.jpg

 

How did the scholarship support you in your goals?

The Baroness scholarship helped me fund my Level 3 Sports Turf Diploma. I had to pay for the course myself as I wanted to progress and the club I was working for at the time had already spent its training budget for the year. Having the right qualifications helped me progress when opportunities came available.  

How did you find the learning experience with your college/employer?

Studying for my level 3 at Plumpton College helped me with certain aspects of my job moving forward. They had some great lectures with lots of knowledge and experience. 

What have you achieved since completing your qualification (if you have completed it)?

I went on to make the final of the Toro Student of the Year Awards and finished second. I then attended the first-ever FTMI back in 2013 and secured my first deputy head greenkeeper position. Later on I became deputy head greenkeeper at Ealing Golf Club and subsequently became course manager.

Why do you think scholarships are important?

I think scholarships are really important for students who need extra help for different reasons, It allows people to progress if they have the drive and motivation to look for opportunities without relying on their golf clubs to help financially.  Scholarships also help students get out into the industry and meet fellow greenkeepers and course managers, which in the long run will help and assist them, be it general advice and guidance or future career opportunities. Scholarships also look good on your CV when applying for other scholarships and help you discuss and demonstrate experiences you have gained. 

What would you say to another BIGGA member who may be interested in finding out about the scholarship?

If you are interested in a scholarship and want to progress your career with educational opportunities, go onto the BIGGA website and start researching the different options available. Don't be worried if the criteria doesn't quite match the desired outcome and speak to the educational representatives from BIGGA who are here to assist us in achieving our goals and will work with you. This will also help you communicate with like-minded people about your targets and may open other avenues that you previously thought were unattainable or closed.

Kevin O'Neill (Expand for more info)

Course Manager, Howley Hall Golf Club

Kevin O'Neill.jpg

 

How did the scholarship support you in your goals?

The scholarship was a great help, enabling me to purchase textbooks that helped me both complete the course and use for future reference.

How did you find the learning experience with your college/employer?

Very enjoyable. It was obviously tough working full time and completing the course, but it really got me thinking about different aspects of greenkeeping and allowed me to questions things, having a little more knowledge.

What have you achieved since completing your qualification (if you have completed it)?

After completing the Level 3 course I was fortunate enough to be entered into the Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Award, which I ended up winning. This allowed me to go to the USA and study at the University of Massachusetts on their Winter Turf School program. Following on from this experience, I have since completed my foundation degree in sportsturf.

Why do you think scholarships are important?

Firstly, from a financial point of view the money is very welcome to aid all aspects of your study. Then there is the application process that is great practice for future interviews. Also, the networking opportunities scholarships give you are especially important in the turf industry. 

What would you say to another BIGGA member who may be interested in finding out about the scholarship?

Ask a question as no harm can come of it. Fellow greenkeepers are always eager to share their views, both good and bad, of all experiences. And get applying!

 

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