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Brighton’s Amex Stadium scored a hat trick of successes at a prestigious industry awards night.

The Stadium Experience awards recognise the efforts and dedication shown by the catering, conference and events teams at every football and rugby stadium across the UK and Ireland.
And not only was the Brighton & Hove Albion stadium chosen to host the 2018 ceremony, (on 31 May), but its catering and events partner, Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events, scooped two gongs during the course of the evening.
The Sodexo PV&E team saw off competition from football clubs, such as Southampton and Chelsea, to be named Best Stadium Events Venue, for “consistently displaying exceptional venue facilities and outstanding guest experiences.”
They also won the Best Digital Enquiry Award following a mystery shopper-style email enquiry.
The event was the 14th annual awards organised by Stadium Experience, and 70 football and rugby clubs were nominated for awards, with 25 different stadium venues scooping at least one of 39 gongs across 13 categories.
Some awards were entered by the club themselves and others by nominations from colleagues, media and visiting club directors.
As hosts for the event, the Amex Stadium welcomed 350 guests, from conference and events, match day hospitality, chef teams, public catering, operational departments and senior management, for a four-course menu, ceremony and live entertainment, followed by an onsite after party until 4am.
Kathy Taylor, sales manager for Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events at the Amex Stadium, said the awards were “recognition for the hard work and excellent level of service our team provides to clients and customers in the stadia market.
“We are particularly delighted to have won the Best Stadium Events venue category as our entry highlighted examples of a number of challenging events and the testimonials of our very satisfied customers – so it’s a very special win for us.
“We were also delighted to host the ceremony,” she added. “The Amex Stadium is a superb location for glamorous, large-scale events and the ceremony showed it at its very best.”
The Brighton awards were among seven won in total by Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events teams, with Everton FC winning Best Match Day Hospitality – Medium Stadium, silver in the Chef Team of the Year category and bronze for Overall Match Day Hospitality.
The Sodexo teams at Newcastle United FC and Hampden Park also won silver and bronze respectively in the Best Match Day Hospitality – Large Stadium category.
Sodexo provides catering and hospitality to stadia across the UK and Ireland, as well as a host of cultural destinations. Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events provides sales and marketing support to venues to maximise conference and events revenue.


AquaTrax® brings Ashton Playing Fields running track back to ‘as new’ condition

Ashton Playing Fields provide a variety of sports and leisure facilities across their 50-acre site in Chigwell, Essex. Home to Woodford Green and Essex Ladies Athletics Club amongst others, the track and field surfaces are arguably the jewel in the crown. Dan Sweetman, who has recently taken over as Centre Manager, was delighted to be greeted to his new position by a spotlessly clean running track thanks to Replay Maintenance and their unique AquaTrax® process.
Managed by Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure (RCL), the in-house maintenance team for the facilities is shared between a number of sites in the vicinity. “We have a team that can pick up the groundcare tasks we can’t take on ourselves” explains Dan, “and anything above that is then conducted by external contractors. We try to keep on top of the cleaning of the track but it’s a high wear surface, in use daily, so naturally you get a build-up of dirt and detritus over the months and years.” With the last external clean taking place nearly three years ago, Replay Maintenance were called in to conduct a deep clean.
“Replay were first recommended to Vision RCL by UK Athletics, and having looked at the work they conducted at other tracks, we decided to call them in and we’re so glad we did – the result is amazing. The operator came in and just got the work done, and when he left it looked like a brand-new track had been laid.”
Aquatrax® is a unique process, combining pressure washing and vacuum extraction. The machine applies pressure water jets to dislodge the dirt before a vacuum extraction system removes the dirty water to a tank on the machine leaving a clean surface, free of contaminants. First developed for the maintenance of polymeric athletics tracks, it has since been adapted to clean dirt and algal growth from unfilled or water-based synthetic pitches.
“With the packed schedule we run here, it’s important for us that maintenance work is conducted in a timely, and thorough fashion. More importantly we’ve had great feedback from the users, especially Woodford Green, who are over the moon with the condition of the track.”
Following the clean, the track was then re-lined by Premier Line Markings – Pete Hopkins added, “the track was cleaned to an exceptionally high standard, one of the best that I have seen in many years. Once we finished over marking the existing lines, it looked like a new track”.


New Managing Director For Kubota (UK) Ltd

Kubota Holdings Europe is delighted to announce the appointment of David Hart as Managing Director of Kubota (U.K.) Ltd.
With over 28 years of leadership experience, David Hart brings a wealth of knowledge and experience of the agricultural and construction industries. After graduating with a degree in Agricultural Engineering, David started his career in Agricultural Construction & Grounds Care Equipment at Ben Burgess & Co. In 1990 he joined John Deere and after several sales and marketing roles, became the Division Manager for Commercial and Consumer Equipment in 2004, managing both sales and marketing for turf and utility equipment (homeowner, commercial and golf). David built a strong commercial track record in sales and marketing for the UK and Ireland and in 2011 was appointed Regional Leader for Strategic and Key Account Management, responsible for John Deere’s agricultural and non-agricultural strategic and key account business in Europe, Near Middle East, North Africa and CIS. During this time he was also a member of the John Deere Ag & Turf Regional Leadership Team.
Dai Watanabe, President & CEO of Kubota in Europe, states: “We are very proud of the fact that we have a leading market position in the UK & Ireland with our current product portfolio. Our ambitions reach even further than that. With David on board we have a leader that can support that ambition by bringing his extensive experience and knowledge to identify and exceed our dealers and customers’ needs and requirements.”
On his appointment, Hart said: “Kubota has a deserved reputation as market leader in many areas. We have a big opportunity to grow further and continue to diversify into new sectors, bringing our strong business values and quality delivery to match the demands and rightly high expectations of our dealers and end user clients. Kubota’s brand, values and proven quality are facets I have respected as a competitor over many years, and I am excited to be part of the team that will take these to the next level.

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