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