Long Throws Test Bed - ready for action

The first hammers will be flying onto the demonstration area at Crownpoint Track next week!  This experimental surface has been designed to test the ability of artificial turf to deal with hammers and javelins impacting the surface. Watch this space for results. 

 

Test bed in good shap for the trials

Test bed in good shap for the trials

Test bed ready for action at the new track at Crownpoint

Test bed ready for action at the new track at Crownpoint

Glasgow Life deliver further 3G pitches

Sports Labs working for Glasgow Life the Leisure Trust operating the sports facilities for Glasgow City Council upgrade 2 No. 3G pitches Working closely with Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Building Sports Labs provided consultancy services to design, procure and manage the refurbishment of two pitches in Glasgow. The good news is that both pitches were designed to allow football and rugby use, the bad news is that both were hockey pitches and now these facilities are lost to hockey. Hockey in Glasgow has moved to the new Commonwealth games venue so it is not a complete negative for that sport.


Case Study
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Case Study

These refurbishments have reinvigorated what were very dilapidated facilities these are now thriving community based hubs. The biggest beneficiaries of course are rugby who now have excellent training facilities where before there were none! See attached synopsis of the work done to upgrade the facilities.

Banbridge District Council; new 3G pitch for Rathfriland High School

Rathfriland High School gets new 3G pitch Banbridge District Council commissioned a new 3G pitch at Rathfriland High School and Sports Labs Ltd, were fortunate enough to win the tender to offer consultancy services to the Council to deliver the project through a competitive tendering process organized by the Authority.

This particular project involved many differing disciplines such as; submission of planning application to the planning directorate, site investigation works to characterize the ground conditions and negotiation with the South East Library Boards/Sports NI to approve the format, size and position of the pitch on the site. Sports Labs Ltd prepared a detailed specification to tender to the market in NI, which Tony Patterson Contracts were successful in securing.

The photos show the completed construction of the pitch.

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Tony Patterson Contracts were first class on this contract and delivered a high quality playing surface with a Fieldturf 60mm artificial turf product and shock pad.

The pitch will be used by the school and local community for football, rugby, gaelic games.

This was a challenging site which demanded great skill and care to develop, the result was a very high quality facility indeed.

Testimonials

Ben Corr, Head of Leisure, Banbridge District Council says, “We found Sports Labs very helpful, they offered excellent professional advice and support. They provided the Council with sound technical guidance and offered good value for money. I would have no hesitation in recommending them for similar projects.”

Sports Labs become Sports England Framework Provider

Sport England Artificial Sports Surfaces Consultancy Services Sport England has set up a number of framework contracts with service providers to simplify the procurement of contractors and consultants for future funded projects.Image The framework contract is simply a form of contract where pre-selection of a particular service provider results in a small number of companies being shortlisted to provide the services without the need for protracted tendering process each time a project is available. Frameworks normally last 3 to 4 years. The aim of the Sport England framework contract is to select the best service providers for the work being tendered. Sport England has now put in place a number of framework consultants to deliver specialist aspects of projects on their behalf the one that concerns us is the sports pitches and other sports surfaces framework contract.

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Following a detailed and thorough selection process Sports Labs were successfully selected as one of four specialist consultants for sports surfaces and other specialist services. We are very pleased to be involved with Sport England in this framework contract and look forward to the next 4 years working with Sport England within the framework.

Shock pads in 3G Turf; why you should have one!

We were recently asked to justify why we recommend shock pads in 3G pitch systems. We have been an advocate of their use for many years now even although a 3G turf will have sand and rubber infill which in theory will provide safety and performance to the playing surface. A shock pad will add if you will an 'insurance policy' for the Client perhaps this is why an educated Client may choose to go with one in their pitch.

Long-term performance Here research has shown that as a playing surface ages the performance of a 3G pitch deteriorates and can infact fall below the original specification requirements (FIFA, EN or IRB) within the first third of the life of the pitch. Here it has proven difficult to recover the pitch back to a position of compliance even with intensive maintenance.

A shock pad will protect the performance of the playing surface in the long-term where tests have shown that the playing surface even when worn will retain the principal performance parameters long into the last phase of the life of the artificial turf.

Compliance A shock pad is required to meet certain Global standards such as that issued by IRB. Many football turf fields are using shorter pile height artificial turf; where pile height falls below 50mm a shock pad is essential to meet FIFA requirements.

Multi sport Funding is very focused on providing multi sport facilities. The concept of funding a one sport field is no longer acceptable for publicly funded projects. Here the 'One Turf' concept is a finding a great deal of support in Sports Funding Bodies and Municipalities. Here football, rugby, lacrosse, games all are supported on an playing surface. In this case a shock pad would be required.

Maintenance Whilst the profile of maintenance has never been higher a large number of facilities within communities do not receive maintenance. A shock pad offers an opportunity to build in protection in terms of safety and performance.

Other areas have been promoted such as a shock pad reduces maintenance by virtue of keeping the fill mobile, reduces refurbishment costs and regulates the energy restitution of the playing surface.

There are sound reasons why a shock pad should be incorporated into a artificial pitch where budgets allow however in community based facilities safety in the long term will be a significant factor.

Sports Labs BE by NOC * NSF recognized as a testing institute for sports flooring

Sports Labs gain NOC approval The company Sports Labs BE is as of 6 July 2012 approved by NOC * NSF as a testing institute for performing laboratory tests and inspections of sports floors. Sports Labs BE is located in Gentbrugge in Belgium and is part of Sports Labs Ltd. Sports Labs BE is an ISO / IEC 17020 certified company that, among other FIFA, FIH and the International Rugby Board works.

On behalf of the NOC * NSF plays a central role in the way sports flooring and sports facilities are approved in the Netherlands. This requires certain standards (sports and technical equipment) determined that inspection bodies must fulfill. In the Netherlands, a select number of companies are approved by by NOC * NSF for such testing protocols that must be performed NOC-1

The management of standards and test methods for sport has for many years been in the hands of ISA Sport (now ISA KIWA). After ISA KIWA became an independent organization, the management of standards and test methods transferred to NOC * NSF.  In 2008, the company INTRON NOC * NSF Certification (now SGS INTRON) were approved for the testing of sports surfaces and now Sports Labs BE the third test institute recognized by NOC * NSF.

Besides ISA KIWA and SGS INTRON's also Sports Labs BE contribute expertise to the testing of sports surfaces and sports facilities in the Netherlands in accordance with established procedures.

Here we see Roland Draajier of NOC with Eric and Yannick of Sports Labs BE