In our travels around Ireland we have become witness to many unfortunate scenarios where poor advice and ‘blind’ expenditure has misled many club facilities making poorly thought out decisions for improving the performance of their playing surfaces.
Rural grassroot clubs in GAA Soccer and Rugby circles and beyond have struggled with providing a playing performance from October to March. These months are relatively dormant growth periods, less daylight, cooler temperatures in the soil and obviously much higher frequency of rainfall. These factors have provided a necessity for all year round maintenance work on playing surfaces for all sports. Drainage works and annual maintenance of playing surfaces has become essential to meet the modern requirements for modern day members of these clubs. This is not just to increase new members to their facilities but indeed in many cases to retain the members they have….
Many clubs who do not follow ‘Best Practice’ have maintenance and safety issues with their pitches too which when come summer time these poorly drained surfaces in winter become rock hard and dangerous to play on. Routine maintenance is essential to ensure consistency and also to ensure a safe playing performance surface all year round.
Maintenance works should be planned before the surface performance goes backwards in standards and implemented annually (weekly, monthly tasks each year). The frequency of maintenance works is purely dependant on frequency of usage and fixtures. Maintenance is unavoidable which many have clearly underestimated and misunderstood.
Example of Poor Drainage workstations
The drainage system installed then did not provide for a long lasting solution. Pitches progressively became worse and unsafe to play on, and would not drain causing many games to be cancelled and loss of revenue for the club.
Cost effective solutions can always be found for clubs who have limited funds available. A workable solution that provided for all year round usage which should NOT necessarily require spending foolish amounts of money.
The Irish Institute of Sports Surfaces have been employed as consultants for many faciltiies throughout Ireland and have successfully provided solutions to ensure clubs have the correct level of expertise available.
An independent view to establish the best solution is crucial and paramount to the success of these projects. Many still do not understand that Sports Surfaces is not civil engineering nor is it farmland. Choice of contractor is very important to ensure they have the correct experience, time allocated to perform the works, equipment to implement the works with the required insurances and health and safety standards abided under the various legislations today.
Clubs will always be inundated with many ideas and proposals from various sources locally and beyond who may not have the suitable experience. The Irish Institute of Sports Surfaces have helped many clubs who have had to resolve unplayable sports surfaces from poor advice!
Contact the Irish Institute of Sports Surfaces www.irishsportsurf.ie on email@example.com or 012817047 or Donal Kearney on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0863644372
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