Sports Turf Canada Announces 2017 Sports Turf Manager of the Year

Guelph, ON – Sports Turf Canada is pleased to announce that Hugh Norris of the City of Surrey, BC is the 2017 Sports Turf Manager of the Year.

The Sports Turf Manager of the Year award is a prestigious honour which recognizes an individual’s professional ability and contribution to the Canadian sports turf industry and shows appreciation for his or her proactive and progressive efforts within the profession.

As per Mr. Norris’s nomination, he has continually shown an exemplary drive to enhance outdoor sport services for Surrey’s growing sport community needs. Hugh’s experience covers a diverse inventory of natural and artificial turf fields. Hugh also led the complete renovation and revitalization of Softball City in South Surrey Athletic Park, creating a world class facility to host the 2016 Worlds Women’s Softball Championships.

Hugh Norris thanks attendees at the 2014 West Coast Sportsfield Day hosted by the City of Surrey

The City’s field assets include 15 artificial, 183 grass, 8 gravel and 2 event fields. In 2014 Hugh’s portfolio within the City grew significantly and he took the opportunity to optimize and standardize the overarching maintenance of the City’s sports facilities as a whole, instilling his high standards into consistent and meticulous asset and facility maintenance, enhancing the delivery of year-round outdoor sport facilities for the public. Hugh spearheaded an inspection protocol for weekly field inspections. His team is able to maintain safe and healthy turf density for year-round field accessibility, supporting more than 35,000 registered sport participants. By publishing the results from his Sports Field Inspection program, Hugh’s team shares their weekly updates on the overall conditions of the city’s outdoor athletic sports field on-line for easy access and awareness.

“Quick to embrace technology, Hugh strives to continually stay abreast of best practices, optimizing the balance between asset development, maintenance, upgrading and replacement to achieve the best value, in terms of both municipal costs and public needs.” Under his watch, the City has developed to date 15 artificial turf fields, each with exceptional performance characteristics, optimizing opportunities for year round and inclement weather usage.

Hugh is an active contributor within the Turf and Sport industry, regularly presenting at sports group association meetings and professional conferences. From 20+ years actively coaching his own 4 children across their athletic careers, to supporting staff, volunteers and participants, professionally and personally, his positive impact on the sport community has a wide reach and lasting impact. He is driven by his love of community and sport.

By sponsoring this award, the Guelph Turfgrass Institute (GTI) assists in the recognition of sports turf managers who exemplify vision and leadership in the sports turf industry. The GTI is pleased to partner with Sports Turf Canada in presenting this award which helps to recognize Mr. Norris’s excellence in sports turf management.

The nomination deadline for the 2018 Sports Turf Manager of the Year is January 15th. Visit for eligibility, criteria and the nomination form.

About Sports Turf Canada
Sports Turf Canada was established in 1987 when after a brain storming session at the University of Guelph a broad segment of the turf industry endorsed its need. Of particular concern at that meeting was the need to minimize and avoid injury to participants using athletic fields where they relate to sports turf. Almost thirty years later Sports Turf Canada continues to promote better, safer sports turf through innovation, education and professional programs.

About the Guelph Turfgrass Institute
Home to Sports Turf Canada, the Guelph Turfgrass Institute was established in 1987 to conduct research and extension and provide information on turfgrass production and management to members of the Canadian turfgrass industry. The institute is supported by the university, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the turfgrass industry. As one of very few turfgrass research facilities in Canada, the institute is recognized as a world-class leader for research, education and professional development for the study of turf. Building on the University of Guelph's long-standing expertise in turfgrass science, the research activities of the institute continue to focus in areas such as the environmental aspects of pesticide use (fate and persistence), evaluation of grass species, varieties and seeding methods, sports field construction, fertility and management programs, pesticide use and the biological and cultural control of diseases and weeds. Visit us at, Like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter

For further information, contact:
Anne Baliva, Executive Manager
Sports Turf Canada 519-763-9431
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