England Hockey training venue gets Beijing Games-style water-based hockey pitch

The Lilleshall National Sports Centre -- a training venue for England Hockey -- is home to a new Poligras Olympia water-based hockey pitch; the same technology used at the Beijing Olympic Games.

It was installed by Kent-based artificial sports specialist Active Leisure Contracts and complies with FIH global pitch standards.

The project was funded by Sport England and involved laying a high-performance, in situ, rubber shock pad onto which the Poligras surface was bonded.

It was completed in four weeks by the Active Leisure Contracts installation team and overseen by a technician from Sports Technology International (STI), the company that designed and manufactured the surface system.

Active Leisure Contracts divisional manager of sports Martin Longstaffe said: "We encountered a few typical UK-weather-related problems during the installation process as a result of the wet summer and cold mornings. This made the carpet too rigid to lay early in the day and the full stick adhesive had to be applied in between the rain. However, we got there in the end and are very pleased with the results."

The technology has now been installed on 19 pitches worldwide and studies of these surfaces confirm the Poligrass Olympia uses up to 40% less water than previous generation water-based pitches.


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