sports surfaces

Smart athletics track monitors performance

KINGSMEADOW Athletics Centre in Surrey is one of the latest venues to install smart technology to provide performance data for field and track users. The data logging system from Polytan provides

training diagnostics without costly technical installations. Known as SmarTracks, the system combines three components: magnetic timing gates built invisibly into the track, a waist belt with sensor and analysis software. The technology can be used to record the

movement data of several athletes simultaneously measuring the athlete’s speed, length of stride, step frequency and jump height. The movement data is captured by timing

gates located in the ground and the sensor, which weighs just 24g, worn on the body. Two

round magnetic elements (600mm long and 25mm thick) are sunk into the ground at intervals of 1m to 1.30m to form a timing gate. The upper end of the magnetic elements lies no more than 25mm beneath the upper edge of the synthetic surface. One track needs two magnetic elements, two tracks need three, three tracks four and so on. A minimum distance of 3m between the timing gates in the running direction is recommended. Benefits of the sensor technology include low

measuring tolerances, full protection against vandalism, a complete lack of dependence on weather conditions and no time-consuming setup and dismantling of technical equipment. The system is suitable for all outdoor

synthetic surfaces from Polytan and can also Purpose-built competitive walking football pitch

SOLIHULL Football Centre has installed a 3G pitch specifically designed for walking football in response to growing demand for the activity. Aimed at the over 50s, with many

tournaments catering exclusively for the over 60s, walking football forbids all running and allows either no contact or only minimal physical contact between players who walk briskly through matches. Competitive walking football matches and

tournaments are played across the country on a variety of different surfaces and pitch sizes. Solihull Football Centre, which is home to the Birmingham Walking Football Club, wanted a purpose-built pitch that catered for the competitive needs of the game. It worked with Synthetic Turf Management to create a six/seven a-side walking football


championship pitch that comprises a lined 38m x 31m playing surface, 5.5m Ds, 6m penalty spot, and 12ft x 4ft goals. Synthetic Turf Management transformed an

existing synthetic bowling green with a 60mm pile height product in-filled with a layer of silica sand at the bottom followed by the rubber crumb on top, to help protect the blades of grass. The installation also included white and yellow line markings which were cut into the artificial grass as permanent lines. Three months following the installation, the

centre owners have reported an increase in pitch hire, with local teams using the facility and walking football sessions set up weekday/evenings and weekends.

be retrospectively incorporated into existing athletics facilities.

Images: Polytan

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