Borders Leisure Trust gives Tweedbank a make over for 2014

Tweedbank Athletics Track gets major refurbishment Sports Labs play key role in project:

Tweedbank a strategically important track in the Border was originally opened The track was built in about 1984 and was upgraded from 6 to 8 lanes in 1996, constructed by Charles Lawerence Surfaces it has served the Borders athletics clubs very well over the years. A quick make over 2 years ago did not prove to prolong the life of the facility therefore a decision was made to refurbish the track in May 2013.

Working with Stuart Davidson a local architect Sports Labs prepared a specification for the works and sought tenders for the refurbishment for works to commence in May. The initial site investigation was very positive and was proven to be correct in that the track was originally built to a high standard. During the works the quality of the install was monitored by key stage inspections so throughout a regime of sampling and testing was exercised.

The end result is now an upgrade on the potential for this track to host top Scottish events in the future. With Scotland hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games Tweedbank will no doubt feature in warm up and training facilities for attending Nations.




Borders press reported on the benefits of the project to the community in a recent article which you can read here;

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.



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.


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.”

New qualifications in installation techniques for artificial turf announced

Sport and Play Construction Association announced yesterday that NVQ level three qualifications shall be available for front line skills. Actual turf installation, shock pads, polymeric surfaces, play surfaces and equipment, base construction. This is a significant move forward for the UK sports and play construction sector and provides a platform for improving skills for those coming into the industry. Improving skills = better quality pitches, tracks and play surfaces this is the bottom line. See article attached.

National Vocational Qualifications

New EdExcel Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Sport and Play Surfaces (QCF) As you will be aware, a partnership was initiated by SAPCA with SkillsActive, EdExcel and South Birmingham College to develop a National Occupational Standard for the installation and maintenance of sports and play surfaces in the UK. NVQ (QCF) qualifications are competence based qualifications based on national standards of competence that recognise and judge ability and level of competence to perform the range of tasks associated with a specific trade. The NVQ is delivered by South Birmingham College with workplace examinations assessing the candidate's skill level and on-site competence. Since the launch of the Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Sport and Play Surfaces in October 2008, over 300 candidates from the industry have taken the operational qualification. Enrolment is now underway for 2012-13 for both Level 2 and newly launched operational and supervisory NVQ Level 3. As well as providing some fundamental management units, the level 3 qualification will focus on the specialist skills that are essential to the sports and play surfacing industry, such as installation of synthetic turf, polymeric and acrylic surfaces. It is designed to assist those working in the sports surfaces installation industry to progress to a more advanced skill and/or supervisory management level. Candidates who complete the apprenticeship programme will produce evidence of their work in as a portfolio and spend 4 weeks over a single year in the lecture room at South Birmingham College completing the foundation knowledge. Whatever the context the candidates is working in, it is essential that their work evidence comes from real on site working, with real equipment, services and customers, as part of temporary or permanent employment. During the level 3 course of the academic year candidates must complete 5 mandatory units in group A and at least two units from Group B1, with the remaining credit from optional B1 and/or B2 below:- Group A Plan, allocate and monitor the work of the team Set objectives and provide support for team members Ensure health and safety requirements are met in own area of responsibility Resolve customer service problems Complete sport/play surface work for handover Group B 1 Install Artificial grass surface for sport an play Install polymeric surface for sport and play Install acrylic surface for sport and play Install prefabricated textile and non-textile resilient surface for sport and play Install indoor polymeric surface for sport and play Group B2 Inspect and assess sport and play sites, surfaces, equipment and perimeters Install subfloor undercarriage system for indoor sport and play surfaces Prepare for and install base layers for sport/play surfaces Assemble and install purpose-made equipment and components for sport/play Provide leadership in own area of responsibility Manage own professional development within an organisation

Government contributions to NVQ courses vary considerably with the age and circumstances of the applicant, however it has been confirmed that this year’s intake on to NVQ 2 and NVQ 3 aged 24+ will be co-funded. For details on funding please contact South Birmingham College on 0121 694 5000 or . For questions about the course contact Head Lecturer Keith Selvey