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Colsterworth groundsman shares experience of working at Wimbledon





A groundsman has shared how special it is to help keep some of the world’s most famous tennis courts in pristine condition.

Steven Davies, 37, from Colsterworth, has been working as an assistant groundsman for the All England Tennis Club since 2021, helping to mow, mark and mop the Wimbledon tennis courts.

With the 137th Wimbledon tournament drawing to a close on Sunday (July 14), Steven, a former Charles Read Academy student, has shared what it is like to be a “cog in the big wheel” of the most prestigious, and oldest, tennis tournament in the world.

Steven cutting the grass and marking white lines on court 14 ahead of Wimbledon 2024. Photo: AELTC/Tom Flathers.
Steven cutting the grass and marking white lines on court 14 ahead of Wimbledon 2024. Photo: AELTC/Tom Flathers.

He said: “The thing I look forward to is the buzz. It’s hard to explain, but you do all of this prep then it gets to the first day of the championship and you get to the point you can’t do anymore than what is done.

“Then you get the buzz from the crowd and the atmosphere, it’s pretty special.

“It’s also about being a part of a team. It’s not just me as an individual, there is a massive group of us.

Steven has worked for the All English Tennis Club, based in London, since 2021. Photo: AELTC/Chloe Knott.
Steven has worked for the All English Tennis Club, based in London, since 2021. Photo: AELTC/Chloe Knott.

“If we don’t pull in the same direction at the same time, I don’t think it would work.

“I know a lot of people say if it wasn’t for the grass, it wouldn’t be Wimbledon.

“It’s special and I love this place. I could see myself being here until retirement. This place though will outlive all of us!”

Steven cuts the grass on the famous 'Henman Hill' ahead of Wimbledon 2024. Photo: AELTC/Chloe Knott.
Steven cuts the grass on the famous 'Henman Hill' ahead of Wimbledon 2024. Photo: AELTC/Chloe Knott.

Steven’s path into this career started after he left school at 18. Not knowing what to do next, he got a job at Burger King at the Colsterworth services on the A1.

He said: “We took on a new member of staff whose husband was the new head greenkeeper at Stoke Rochford Golf Club.

“I said ‘I always wondered what goes into looking after a golf course all year round’ and she told me one day there was an apprenticeship coming up at the club, so I just fell into it and started greenkeeping.

“It was a very small team and it was where I learnt my trade. I was a junior member of the club from the age of 12, so I played golf and had a really good interest in it.

“To actually see the other side of it and how you prepare a course always interested me. It just worked out for me.

“It’s just one of those things in life.”

Steven left the club in June 2013 and moved to Farnborough where he started a new job with Wentworth Golf Club, home of the PGA Championships.

He stayed there until January 2021 when he later got a job with the All England Tennis Club, based in London.

“It got to the point of nearly working 15 years in golf and I fancied a change,” added Steven, who now lives in Church Crookham in Hampshire.

Wimbledon employs a full-time base crew and an additional 12 employees for its seasonal crew, who work from April until October.

Steven was taken on to the seasonal crew for two years and joined the full-time crew in September last year.

He said: “When I first joined, it was quite strange as it was just coming out of Covid.

“My first championship, the crowd was reduced at the start, then it moved up to a full capacity, so that was an interesting first championship.”

Wimbledon has always been a destination for celebrity spotting, and Steven has seen a fair few over the years he has been working there.

He said: “Seeing Roger Federer, he is a very dapper man and he dresses very well.

“[Novak] Djokovic is actually quite a nice bloke, depending on what day it is, but a lot of them come in and when they are practicing you see them in game mode.

“I don’t want to distract them.

“I’m a massive Newcastle fan and I literally brushed shoulders with the owners the other day which was pretty cool.

“Speaking of celebrities though, a highlight has definitely been meeting the Princess of Wales. That was lovely.”

From working in an apprenticeship at his local golf club to looking after the grounds of Wimbledon, Steven offers advice to youngsters seeking to get into a similar career.

He added: “If you are a youngster and want to get into something like this, going down an apprenticeship route is the best way to get into it.

“It’s great for working outdoors and being part of a team.”



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