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SYNTHETIC SURFACES It’s essential that maintenance

can also be inspected to determine whether any repairs or even replacements need to be made.

What are the cost implications? To maximise the return on current facilities and make budgets stretch further, pitch resurfacing could be a preferred choice for facility owners and operators who are faced with reductions in public spending and ongoing rises in overheads. By replacing your pitch, interest within the facility can be renewed – bringing an in- creased revenue stream through increased usage of the pitch.

How long will a resurfacing project take? The project duration for the replacement of a synthetic turf pitch surface can range from three to five weeks – depending on the actual specification and level of replacement. This time will increase if the surface shockpad or other refurbishment up- grades are required.

is undertaken regularly to ensure optimum playing performance, pitch longevity, safety and appearance

How do you ensure a newly resurfaced pitch lasts another lifespan?

The life expectancy of the surface will depend on the mainte- nance and how intensively it is played on. It is essential that maintenance is undertaken regularly to ensure optimum playing performance, pitch longevity, safety and appearance. The pitch contractor will always provide specific maintenance instructions. Further guidelines, which could help to maximise the surface’s lifespan can be found in the SAPCA Code of Practice for The Maintenance of Synthetic Surfaces via


ollowing advice from a specialist synthetic surface maintenance company and a subsequent pitch inspection, Alden- ham School in Hertfordshire decided to replace its existing sand-filled syn- thetic sports turf surface. The original surface had become slippery where the sand in-fill was contaminated and it was starting to hold water. Joints in the existing surface also required repairs and the surface pile height had deteriorated greatly in recent years.


After visiting various reference sites, the school chose the Interna- tional Hockey Federation-accredited TigerTurf Evolution surface, which it had observed at Imperial Col- lege’s Harlington sports ground. The surface was chosen on the basis of being excellent for hockey, useable for tennis and five-a-side football and extremely hard-wearing and long-lasting.

Once McArdle Sport-Tec had re- moved the existing surface, the company checked the levels and the integrity of the underlying shockpad and found this still within guidelines set out by SAPCA and Sport England, before installing the new surface. The project was carried out to a tight programme during the school’s Easter holiday and was completed ahead of schedule – allowing the school to use the pitch when the chil- dren returned for the summer term.

CASE STUDY The 3G surface had to perform well for both football and hockey use at the facility LANCASHIRE FA L

ancashire FA’s sand-filled synthetic grass pitch at its county ground had performed well since it was originally constructed by Thornton Sports in 1997. However, after 14 years of continuous use, the full-size pitch was showing signs of wear and tear and no longer provided the standard of playing surface required. The Lancashire FA was looking for a 3G surface that would perform well for their coach education and referee cours- es, while being suitable for use by local hockey clubs.

Thornton Sports’ UK manufac- tured SoccerTurf 40M surface met both these requirements; approved by the

62 Read Sports Management online

International Artificial Turf Standard (IATS) for football use and the Interna- tional Hockey Federation (FIH) for local and regional league competitions. The re-surfacing process involved remov- ing the existing surface and disposing of it in a safe and sustainable manner. The existing shock-pad was then inspected, and necessary repairs were carried out before the new synthetic surface was laid. Finally, a sand and rubber infill was ap- plied which, in this case, was automated by a specialist Sandmatic machine to en- sure a consistent infill level.

The pitch re-construction works and the building of a new five-a-side facility, were completed in just five weeks.

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