MCARDLE SPORT TEC DELIGHTED TO EXHIBIT AT THE 2021 ISBA ANNUAL CONFERENCE AS OFFICIAL HEADLINE PARTNERS

DATE FOR THE DIARY TUESDAY 22ND AND WEDNESDAY 23RD NOVEMBER!

McArdle Sport Tec are pleased to announce that we have been selected as an official Conference Headline Partner’s at the Independent Schools’ Bursars Association (ISBA) Annual Conference 2021.

The two-day event due to take place at the ICC Wales will be the highlight conference event of the year for everyone involved in the Independent School sector.

McArdle Sport Tec believe that the ISBA Annual Conference is the UK’s most prestigious independent education flagship event, which attracts around 500 bursars and senior management from ISBA member schools.

The conference provides modern and innovative insight into topics relevant to Independent Schools with an opportunity to network with fellow bursars and meet with exclusively unique suppliers exhibiting at this event.

Please come along to say hello and meet our team exhibiting on stand 66.

Not attending the ISBA Annual Conference? We would still love to hear from you, contact us on: 01491 827810 or email: enquire@mcardlesport.co.uk

All You Need to Know About Multi Use Games Areas

MUGAs, or ‘Multi Use Games Areas’, are a type of sports surface which can be used to accommodate various different sports, such as hockey, 5-a-side football, netball, basketball, and tennis.

Multi Use Games Areas are particularly useful to schools and local sports community clubs since they are versatile, cost-effective, and, perhaps most importantly, they make very efficient use of the space available. The latter can be particularly beneficial to clients who have issues with space, such as schools, who often face the problem of having limited areas designated for sport.

There are 3 primary options when it comes to surface choices for MUGAs, with different surface types being more suited to different sports. These are as follows:

  • Artificial Turf (More suited to hockey and 5-a-side football)
  • Macadam (More suited to netball, basketball, and tennis)
  • Polymeric (More suited to athletics training)

The first option, Artificial Turf, is typically a sand-dressed surface, but it can also be 3G-based. These are becoming increasingly popular choices within the market. Sand-dressed surfaces have a shorter and denser pile as a result of dressing the surface with sand rather than filling it. More advanced than the standard sand-filled turfs, these surfaces are well suited to hockey, lacrosse, and 5-a-side football. On the other hand, 3G turf is an artificial surface with a long pile, infilled with sand and rubber granules to make the pile stand up, making it more suited to large ball sports like football and rugby.

Macadam, or Tarmac, is a very durable surface which is good at responding to adverse weather conditions, meaning it can be played on year-round and with little maintenance. These surfaces are typically placed on playgrounds (making them particularly popular amongst primary schools) and can be coated with different colours to both improve the aesthetic and to place markings down for games. Markings can range from organised sports, such as netball and tennis, to everyday playground games such as hopscotch or snakes and ladders.

The final option, Polymeric surfaces, are good for sports where cushioning is required, such as athletics training – however they are still versatile, and can be used for sports such as netball, five-a-side football, tennis, basketball, and even wheelchair sports. Their porous rubber crumb surface means that they, like tarmac, can be used in most weather conditions, with the added advantage of being less slippery than tarmac. They can also accommodate running spikes, making them even more suited to being used for athletics tracks.

So, not only are Multi Use Games Areas versatile, cost-effective, and space-efficient, but they can also be tailored to your needs, with custom size, colour, and sports markings options available to be implemented.

If you’re interested in seeing some of our previous MUGA construction projects, take a look at these case studies:

Multi Use Games Area
MUGA Construction
MUGA

The Importance of Artificial Pitch Maintenance

PITCH MAINTENANCE IS ESSENTIAL TO KEEP YOUR SPORTS SURFACE IN GOOD CONDITION AND IMPROVE ITS LONG-TERM PERFORMANCE.

In this guide, we’ll give you our top tips on how to maintain your pitch, from 3G surfaces used for rugby and football, to high level water-based hockey pitches.

Keeping your facilities well-maintained will make them last longer and shorten the length of time before you’ll need to resurface your artificial pitch! Proper pitch maintenance can also help you avoid player injuries and flooding or drainage issues in poor weather conditions, as well as generally improving your playing surface to allow those using it to play to the best of their ability.

Although the maintenance requirements are lower compared to a natural grass pitch, no pitch is completely maintenance-free, and there are a number of areas to consider if you want it to function for years to come.

PITCH LOCATION

Before you even think about installing a new pitch, you should work with your sports pitch consultant and specialist contractor to ensure it is built in the best position to protect it from the elements. Ideally, your pitch would be situated away from any grassed areas that players, spectators and maintenance teams might need to cross before stepping onto it. This will help to reduce the amount of mud, debris and contaminants coming onto the synthetic surface and prolong the playing quality and lifespan of your pitch.

You can also keep the area around the pitch looking clean and tidy by installing tarmac paths leading to the pitch, landscaping with non-shedding trees, and even installing artificial turf warm-up areas so the pitch doesn’t get covered with mud.

ROUTINE MAINTENANCE

One of the most fundamental aspects of maintaining a pitch is checking on it regularly! Small tasks such as keeping the pitch clear of litter, leaves, twigs, mud, and any unwanted growth, i.e. weeds around the edges, can significantly help your pitch in the long term. This will also improve the visual aesthetic of the pitch and prevent it from looking worn down or dirty.

APPROPRIATE FOOTWEAR

Another crucial part of pitch maintenance is to ensure that the correct footwear is worn. Wearing the wrong shoes can cause damage to the surface of the pitch, and injury to those wearing them. It is advisable to make sure that all who use the pitch are aware of what the appropriate footwear is, and provide signage to remind them of the rules.

For 3G pitches, this is particularly relevant, as flat-soled shoes and boots can increase the rate of infill compaction and flatten the carpet pile (which we want to keep upright). We advise only wearing moulded or screw-in stud football boots on a 3G field.

REGULAR BRUSHING

Relying on a bi-annual pitch maintenance service will not be sufficient to keep your pitch in good condition. Weekly brushing helps to keep the synthetic fibres upright on both hockey pitches and 3G pitches. On 3G pitches especially, this will help to protect the infill from compaction and further damage to the surface. We recommend using a drag brush behind a tractor for the best results. It’s particularly important to brush over heavy traffic areas such as pitch entrances and goals.

INFILL TOP-UPS

It is important to keep an eye on your pitch’s infill to ensure the levels are not too low (with the exception of water-based hockey pitches, which have no infill). Those small rubber pieces you find in 3G artificial pitches, or the silica sand in hockey pitches, are there to support the fibres and keep them upright. However, over time, some infill will leave the pitch in players’ boots or just from flying about during play or in windy conditions, so you should keep an eye on your infill levels whilst brushing to prevent shortages and surface damage.

Have a walk around your sports pitch whenever you get a chance. Take a look to see if the fibres are bending over in places, or if excess infill is gathering around the edges. This could mean that there are uneven or low levels of infill on the pitch. This often happens in areas such as the goal mouth. If you are unable to do this yourself, hiring an expert company to thoroughly inspect the pitch for any tearing or loosening of any seams, and to top up infill levels if they are running low, will contribute massively to the upkeep of the pitch.

REMOVAL OF MOSS AND ALGAE

The build-up of moss and algae is particularly common in water-based pitches, as naturally the frequent presence of water means that they are far more susceptible to it. This is more likely to occur in cases where the surface suffers from poor airflow, poor sunlight and improper drainage, so it’s a good idea to ensure these needs are met when installing your pitch.

Various treatments are available to eradicate moss and algae, and you might want to consider a deep clean if the pitch becomes dirty over time.

WINTER MAINTENANCE

As long as your pitch has a good drainage system, the only weather conditions that could potentially stop you from using it are snow and ice. Heavy snowfall can freeze the fibres and make them brittle, increasing the risk of damage to both the pitch and the players. If this does occur, sometimes the easiest solution is to close the pitch until it thaws and becomes safe to use, but we do appreciate that this can result in cancelled fixtures and bookings, potentially leading to loss of important revenue and customers.

Once the snow has settled on the surface, it is very difficult to move, particularly if it has been left for a day or longer. If it can be moved, then you will have to consider where to stockpile it until it melts, and make sure that the essential rubber or sand infill is not removed in the process!

However, as with many things, prevention is better than a cure: laying Pure Dried Vacuum (PDV) salts on the turf before forecasted snow or ice can help to prevent freezing from happening in the first place, protecting your pitch and reducing your downtime. You should avoid using other products, such as rock salt or grit, because once they dissolve, they could cause contamination and damage to the playing surface. Chemical-based solutions do work, but they can be costly and offer little in the way of residue life.

EDUCATING PLAYERS

You should let your teams and players know how important it is to look after a sports pitch! McArdle Sport Tec can install team boot brushes if required to help reduce mud on the pitch. Every pitch we build as standard has an information board erected clearly listing the ‘Dos and Don’ts’, including footwear guidelines, and rules such as no eating & drinking and no dogs on the pitch. This will help ensure that the the pitch is treated with respect.

 

McArdle Sport Tec recommend that you conduct regular pitch maintenance to ensure that any issues are identified early, prolonging the life of your pitch and keeping the players safe.

Why it’s important to resurface your sports pitch

Once you’ve had a good-quality synthetic turf pitch installed, it will typically last for around a decade, depending on how heavily it’s used.

Resurfacing the pitch after this time is important if you want to maintain a high-quality surface for the smoothest play possible. If you leave it too late, the pitch could become waterlogged and unsafe to play on. To avoid this, it’s best to think about sports pitch resurfacing sooner rather than later.

How can I tell if my pitch needs resurfacing?

You’ll know when your sports pitch has reached the end of its life if you see any of these warning signs:

  • Surface looks worn and shabby
  • Seams are coming loose and splitting apart
  • Drainage is not working properly, leading to waterlogging

So, if it’s been several years since your sports pitch was installed and you notice any of these issues starting to creep up, it’s probably time to think about getting it resurfaced. Don’t wait until it’s on its last legs!

What are the benefits of sports pitch resurfacing?

Resurfacing your artificial turf pitch can benefit your sports club or organisation in many ways. For example:

It’s safer. When your pitch starts to show its age, the surface may get slightly lumpy, or the seams may tear, causing tripping hazards. Excess water on the pitch could also make play unsafe and lead to injury.

It looks smarter. A worn out and scruffy-looking pitch is going to appear less professional than a fresh, brightly coloured new one. Having it resurfaced will therefore make a big impact on the public image of your facility.

Play will be smoother. As the main purpose of your pitch is to allow sports to be played to the highest standard possible, having it resurfaced will ensure ball bounce, roll, and slide are working at optimum condition.

It allows you to incorporate new technological advancements. New designs and technology are always being developed to make artificial sports pitches as realistic and effective as possible. This means that incredible new surface types which could really benefit your club may have become available since you last updated your pitch.

Will this affect my pitch accreditation standards?

Artificial pitches will require re-testing on a periodic basis by an accredited Field Testing and Certification body, ensuring that the facility complies with mandatory governing body standards and that the pitch maintains its original classification.

Providing the pitch passes the required ‘re-tests’, the facility will be accredited once more to a specific governing body and classification, whether this is FIH, FIFA or WR Reg 22 standards. This establishes that the facility is still ‘fit for purpose’ and being managed and maintained to the required standards.

Once your pitch has reached the end of its lifespan, the Field Testing and Certification body will no longer be able to pass your facility. At this point, you will know that it is absolutely essential to arrange a refurbishment of the artificial carpet as soon as possible, and once completed, apply for a new test on the resurfaced pitch to obtain your pitch classification once more.

What can McArdle Sport Tec do?

We’ve delivered many sports pitch resurfacing projects for a range of clients, with great results. For instance, we’ve refurbished hockey pitches at Eton College, reconstructed and extended an existing sand-dressed hockey pitch into a full sized 3G sports pitch for for the Dorothy Hyman Sports Centre in Barnsley, and resurfaced a 3G pitch for Huish Episcopi Academy. For more detail on what we’ve done, read some of our case studies.

Whatever standard of sport you’re playing, we’ve got a first-class pitch to suit your needs. If your sports pitch is looking worse for wear and could benefit from resurfacing, it’s important that you get it sorted as soon as possible to restore it to a high quality. Get in touch with us today for a quote.

Dorothy Hyman Before Sports Pitch Resurfacing

Dorothy Hyman Sports Centre – Before Resurfacing

Dorothy Hyman Sports Pitch Resurfacing

Dorothy Hyman Sports Centre – After Resurfacing

Partners TigerTurf and McArdle Sport Tec are celebrating successive appointment on the consecutive Football Foundation AGP Supplier Framework

The Football Foundation is a charity that channels funding through the Premier League, The FA and Government through Sport England. They invited artificial grass producers, alongside their construction partners, to participate in a manufacturer-led Framework tender, to deliver artificial grass pitches (AGPs) and associated works for clubs, the education sector and local communities across the country. To date, 914 artificial grass football pitches have been installed on the original AGP Supplier Framework.

McArdle Sport Tec partnered with TigerTurf, were thrilled to be selected on the original Football Foundation Framework in 2015; but were ecstatic to learn we had been successful on the subsequent 2019 Framework tender. The tendering process was challenging and complex, however our comprehensive in-house policies, procedures, accreditations, and qualified skilled members of staff ensured we provided a thorough and successful tender submission.

We have installed numerous FIFA Quality and FIFA Quality Pro artificial turf pitches on and off the Framework and take pride in constructing high quality facilities, transforming clubs, schools and universities across the United Kingdom gaining an exemplary reputation along the way.

Steve Barclay Estimating Director – McArdle Sport Tec quoted:  “Following a great deal of hard work by our team in a demanding and meticulous tendering process, we are thrilled to be appointed onto the new Football Foundation AGP Supplier Framework with our partner TigerTurf.  We take great pride in knowing that the pitches we build will benefit local clubs and communities by providing sporting opportunities for all, resulting in positive effects on physical health, mental health, participation and the overall economy”.

TT MCA (2)

We are delighted to have been selected by the Football Foundation for the next phase of installations. Along with our construction partners, McArdle Sport Tec we have worked on the Football Foundation framework for over seven years and it’s an achievement we are extremely proud of. The Foundation’s commitment to supporting grassroots sport is something mirrored by TigerTurf and McArdle and having the opportunity to provide state of the art facilities to schools, clubs and communities across the country is something we are very honoured to do. We are excited to continue to build the next generation of 3G pitches with McArdle and to continue working alongside the Football Foundation to focus on sustainable, high-performing surfaces for the next generation of sporting stars.”

Paul Langford Managing Director for TigerTurf UK

Athletics tracks: Which is right for you?

We’re specialists in athletics track construction, with installations ranging in size, track system, colour and budget.

We’ve installed numerous tracks since starting out in business – from the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games, to schools and colleges (such as Stowe School and University of Birmingham) across the UK.

When considering installing an athletics track, one question we are most frequently asked is: What is the difference?

For the professionals

For those looking for a track suitable for professional training and competing at a high intensity usage, a pre-fabricated, solid or sandwich track provides a durable, absorbent surface. Each of these tracks are non-porous surfaces, allowing water to be removed by slope and gravitational flow to a surface drain system.

Each non-porous track type has a range of advantages dependent on your requirements and budgets.

Pre-fabricated track

Materials: Pre-fabricated tracks are made with a layer of vulcanised rubber and latex. While a more expensive solution long-term, they provide outstanding performance characteristics, are hard wearing and require less maintenance and repairs.

Usage: Designed for all levels of training and competing and high intensity. Pre-fabricated tracks are the preferred surface for major track and field championships, including the Olympics.

Cost: More expensive than porous, sandwich or solid systems, but require less maintenance and repairs long-term.

Solid track

Materials: Solid tracks are made of specially formulated ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber granules, with a double polyurethane top coat.

Usage: Designed for high level competition and high intensity usage. Solid tracks have a harder surface consistency, typically preferred by elite level athletes.

Cost: More expensive than porous or sandwich systems however is a more durable surface that requires less maintenance.

Sandwich track

Materials: Sandwich tracks are ‘hybrid’ systems, compromised of a rubber granule base, and EPDM layer and sealed with a polyurethane top coat.

Usage: Designed for use at an elite level, suitable for international athletics.

Cost: A lower cost non-porous track option. The EPDM layer can be retexturized numerous times, saving cost in the long-term.

For schools and communities…

When looking for an athletic track suitable for low-level competition and training, such as that in athletics clubs, colleges and schools, porous tracks are the most popular option.  Surfaces are designed so that water will flow through the surface to the underlying sub-base, allowing moisture to filter through. Most athletics tracks will incorporate a porous aggregate sub-base and drainage system.

Porous tracks

Materials: Made with a robust rubber granule base and a polyurethane top-coat, creating a stable and supportive surface.

Usage: Designed for low-level competition and training and most regularly used across athletic clubs, colleges and schools.

Cost: Economical, cost effective option for low-level training and competing.

To find out more about which professional track surface is right for your facility, get in touch or call 01491 827810.

What is a 3G pitch? And how about 4G or 5G?

A question we get asked frequently here at McArdle Sport Tec, is “What is a 3G pitch?”.

With all the buzzwords being thrown around in the industry these days, we can understand the confusion.

So, what does 3G stand for?

To explain it simply, 3G is short for Third Generation.

Third Generation (3G) surfaces are the newest generation of artificial turf and are referred to as one of the major recent innovations in football. They are designed to offer similar playing characteristics to playing on natural turf, mimicking the ball bounce and ball roll. Read more details about what makes these pitches so effective here.

What sets a 3G pitch apart from older generation synthetic pitches?

A 3G surface is created using a blend of grass-like fibres attached to a special backing. Unlike older style synthetic pitches which were filled with sand, 3G pitches are filled with sand as well as rubber granules. The rubber helps to keep the turf pile upright and makes the surface less abrasive when in contact with skin, resulting in fewer friction burns – which is fantastic for players.

Prior to 3G pitches being developed there were 1G and 2G pitches. 1G pitches are non-infilled surfaces, also known as astroturf, and 2G pitches are sand-based pitches primarily used for hockey.

And what qualifies a pitch to be branded as 3G?

To become an accredited 3G pitch, the surface must meet the RFU or FIFA’s stringent guidelines.  Each pitch will be tested by an accredited ‘Field Testing and Certification’ body and retested on a periodic basis to ensure the facility complies with mandatory governing body standards.

How about 4G and 5G surfaces?

The FA’s Third Generation Football Turf Guidance state “At the moment there is no such thing as 4G or 5G.” These are marketing terms used by companies  Some manufacturers may promote non-infilled products, but these have not received acceptance as a suitable football surface and often struggle to satisfy FIFA requirements.

Some organisations offering these ‘latest generation surfaces’ may not be able to offer the appropriate accreditation for the pitch facility.  McArdle build and install our artificial pitches in full accordance with SAPCA (Sport and Play Construction Association) and Sport England guidelines.  We work closely with our clients to make sure we stay focused on their specific needs and always fully comply with FIFA, FIH, RFU, World Rugby and IAAF requirements.

Why should I choose a 3G pitch?

3G pitches are widely considered to have revolutionised football and rugby. The pitches are extremely durable and proven to perform well for high-level rugby training. Research commissioned by FIFA also concluded that the game of football didn’t change significantly when played on a 3G pitch compared to natural grass, and also found that there were no significant differences in the types or number of injuries between these two surfaces – proving that 3G surfaces are doing their job well in imitating natural grass sports pitches.

For further information, or to discuss a possible 3G pitch project, call our friendly sales team on 01491 827810 Ext 1, or send us a message with any queries you have and we would be happy to help.

3G surface

Health and Safety at McArdle Sport Tec

McArdle Sport Tec are experts within the sports construction industry, we take pride in providing high-quality 3G sports pitches and athletics tracks.

We have a dedicated and knowledgeable team,specialising in innovative designs and pioneering construction methods – so you can rely on us to understand your needs and deliver your pitch efficiently.

We take our health and safety responsibilities seriously and have built an impeccable reputation.  We are recognised and certified by a number construction specific standards from governing bodies including SSIP – Health and Safety standards, Quality Management Systems (QMS) & SAPCA.

SAPCA membership

SAPCA (Sport And Play Construction Association) are an accredited and reliable governing body for sports construction. Our membership demonstrates our credibility within the sports facility construction industry; SAPCA only allow membership to organisations which can be trusted to uphold the high standards of the industry and promote ethical working practices, as well focusing on health and safety measures in part.

CHAS accreditation

CHAS stands for the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme, and to secure this accreditation a qualified assessor reviewed our health and safety policies, procedures and processes to ensure we are fully committed to: providing a safe environment, quality management, equal opportunities and diversity, and that we’re financially capable of delivering the requirements of the contract.

Constructionline

Verified member of Constructionline (Level 3 – Gold), this certificate is a recognised accreditation that we apply for every year, in order to demonstrate that we meet industry and government standards when it comes to risk management.

ISO accreditation’s

We also have three ISO accreditation’s in health and safety, quality management and environmental management systems. These certify that we’ve been assessed and approved by QMS International PLC, and successfully met their standards and guidelines.

To demonstrate the high-standards we maintain in all areas of our business, the proof is ultimately in the pudding – we work closely with you from conception to delivering the finished product to be sure to provide a finished project you’re happy with. Head to our case studies page to read more details about the work we’ve done for our happy clients.

Knowing that we adhere to these regulations gives you that extra bit of peace of mind that we can be relied upon to act ethically and deliver your project as promised.

Construction worker and hard hat

To find out more details about our specific accreditation’s at any given time, take a look at our accreditation’s page.

Wet or dry – which type of hockey pitch is right for you?

Choosing which type of hockey pitch is right for your establishment is a big decision to make – here’s our handy guide to help.

A hockey pitch is a valuable asset for your club, school, or college, and a worthwhile investment that provides years of fun and education. It’s also an expensive investment, so it’s best to research which type best fits your needs is before you commit. Do you need your pitch to be used for a variety of sports? what level of hockey are you playing? and what’s your budget? Keeping the answers to these questions in mind will help you narrow down your decision.

Dry pitches

Sand-filled pitches

Sand-filled pitches are great for playing hockey at a club and recreational level and are the most affordable option of the three pitch types we offer. They’re also versatile in that they can also be used for a variety of sports such as tennis, football and netball, making them extremely cost-effective for schools or colleges.

Sand-dressed pitches

Compared with sand-filled pitches, sand-dressed pitches are made of more yarn and less sand, which results in reduced abrasion and the ball rolling faster. This makes them ideal for a higher standard of hockey – although they can also be used for other low-impact sports.

Our most popular sand-dressed pitch is TigerTurf’s EvoPro which meets FIH national standards for hockey. Head to our case studies page to read more about our process of installing these pitches at Eton College and Marlborough College.

Water-based pitches

The top surface specification for hockey is a water-based hockey pitch, as the presence of water reduces friction and improves the speed and consistency of the ball roll, allowing for smooth, fast play. These must be regularly watered to maintain the optimum playing conditions, as the water also provides shock absorption to put less strain on the players joints. For these reasons a water-based hockey pitch is the first choice for professional hockey matches.

Whether you’re looking for an all-round games pitch or a pitch suitable for elite matches, at Mcardle Sport Tec we offer the choices to suit your budget and needs, from top-specification water-based systems, to affordable sand-based pitches. All of our synthetic hockey surfaces are installed on a engineered macadam base with a separate shockpad to increase player comfort and surface longevity, making them a safe and high-quality option.

To find out more about our prices and what we can offer you, get in contact with us with your query and we’d be happy to provide more information.

Finding funding for sports facilities

When you are looking to invest in a 3G sports pitch or refurbish your existing artificial sport pitch, there are numerous schemes available to help you raise the necessary funding.

Applying for funding is often a time-consuming process, so it’s worth investing some time into researching sources fully before making the decision to apply. Here are some ways you can raise money to fund sports facilities.

Major sporting funds

We often recommend that our clients approach some of the large nationwide sports organisations, such as Sport England and the National Lottery, who offer funding programmes that support major sporting events, as well as smaller-scale organisations. Sports Match is a branch of Sport England, and offers small sports grants to community clubs that benefit certain priority groups, including women, ethnic minority groups, and those with disabilities.

Specific sports

Some organisations offer funding with the goal of increasing participating members, and improving the standards of a specific sport, such as the Football Foundation, which is the country’s largest sports charity, providing everything from kit and goalposts to brand new sports pitches or upgrading existing facilities.

If you require a 3G football pitch for your community, the Football Foundation’s Premier League and FA Facilities fund is ideal, as it provides substantial funding to build artificial playing surfaces. The Rugby Football Union’s Rugby 365 programme is also crucial in providing funding for 3G pitches, as in 2015 it pledged to invest £50 million over a four-year period to build 100 artificial grass pitches to benefit the sport.

Smaller funding sources

As well as the main sources of funding for sports in the UK, there are other organisations offering smaller sources of finance, such as:

  • Cash4Clubs
  • Comic relief
  • Bag 4 sport
  • UK sports funding

These are more likely to be appropriate for small community clubs who require modest grants in order for facilities to be upgraded or installed.

Local and regional councils

Local and regional councils have a budget available to dispense to clubs and organisations that are benefiting the local community.

Although budgets differ depending on where you are, they are worth researching as some councils offering free advice services to help you put together a funding bid.

The application process

Each funding source will have different criteria that needs to be met, with most applications requiring your organisation to be not-for-profit, as well as a full project plan for what is needed and what the benefits will be. Certain supporting documents are also often required, such as bank statements. The majority of funding organisations have their own advice documents to help you plan your application and have the highest chance of success.

Private investors, fundraising events and crowd funding

For more expensive projects, as well as applying to the major sporting governing bodies in the UK, funding can also come from private investors, fund raising events, and crowd funding campaigns.

Please find below website links to some funding options which may be suitable:

Biffa

Big Lottery Fund

Cash 4 Clubs

CEMEX

Coalfields Regeneration Trust

Community Foundations

England Athletics

Peoples Postcode Lottery

Veolia

WREN

To find out more about how our previous clients have funded their 3G pitches, head to our case studies page. Or, to find out how much a 3G pitch costs click here.

Hockey Pitch Construction

Where to Begin

This guide has been designed to assist with answering initial questions we are often asked by clients when they first embark on their hockey pitch construction journey. 

-How much does artificial hockey pitch construction cost?
The cost of building a pitch can vary immensely. Do you require a simple resurfacing of an existing pitch with a new sand-dressed artificial turf, or brand new pitch to be constructed with drainage, sports fencing and a new floodlighting system?

Initially, the existing ground conditions will need to be assessed. If the soil is contaminated, this will need to be removed from site and replaced. The more material that needs to be removed and replaced with suitable base material, the more the overall project will cost. A basic sand-dressed pitch resurface with no lighting or fencing can start at around £150,000, and can be in excess of £1 million for a brand new International standard, water-based pitch with new fencing, team dug outs, LED floodlighting and state-of-the-art irrigation systems.

-What are the first steps in artificial hockey pitch construction?
One you have secured land for the build, you will need to speak with an artificial pitch contractor, or a consultant. They should be able to assist with planning considerations and applications, design options, ground surveys, product specifications and pricing. Should you require funding, England Hockey is a good place to start.

-What type of surface does my club need?
Most international tournaments are played on FIH Global standard water-based surfaces and league games are usually played on FIH National standard sand-dressed pitches. If your club doesn’t host international fixtures then a sand-dressed surface will more than likely be sufficient. Water-based and sand-dressed surfaces are becoming available in a range of colours. Types of hockey surface available.

Do I need to have a shock pad under the artificial turf surface?
Although the FIH doesn’t specifically state that a shock pad is required, the testing criteria make it necessary to pass either ‘Global’ or ‘National’ criteria.
The addition of a shock pad in hockey pitch construction will aid player comfort, as the impact on the knees and back is significantly reduced when a shock pad is present. The most commonly used types shock pad systems are; pre-formed roll out pads, and ‘in-situ’ shock pad. An in-situ pad is a combination of SBR rubber and PU Polyurethane binder which is mixed on-site and laid upon the tarmac pitch base.

-How long should an artificial hockey surface last?
Manufacturers will offer a guarantee for each product in their range, to give an example, TigerTurf UK Ltd’s most popular hockey surface Evo Pro is guaranteed for 12 years, or 30,000 playing hours (2017). Many of the UK manufacturers have similar product guarantee periods, either measured in playing hours, or years. It is vitally important that the surface is maintained to the manufacturers standards for the guarantee to remain valid, artificial turf pitches are not maintenance free.

-Can an artificial hockey pitch be used for other sports?
More and more artificial hockey pitches are becoming multi-sport facilities as hockey clubs and local councils look to maximise the number of hours that the surface can be used for, therefore increasing pitch hire revenue. Artificial turf surfaces can be used for multiple sports, many manufacturers have sand-dressed systems which can be used for 5-a-side football, hockey and tennis. Other sports suited to a sand-dressed surface include volleyball, lacrosse, touch rugby and athletics.

Hockey Pitch