Posted on January 30, 2015 by
Yesterday, Thursday 29th January 2015, saw Kestrel host over 80 guests and speakers at Harlow Town FC to talk about 3G in non-league football and in particular the 3G project Kestrel built at Harlow Town FC in June 2013.
Delegates travelled from as far away as Jersey and Edinburgh to attend the seminar, which started at 10.30am, with a presentation from Kestrel MD Billy Martin about the different types of sub base used to build 3G pitches, focusing particularly on the unique design and build project at Harlow Town FC.
Martin Laidler from Trocellen discussed the shock pad laid at the Club and Stef Oliviers from DOMO Sports Grass talked about the origins of artificial turf, its modern day qualities, as well as cork infill and maintenance. Patrick Daly from Abacus rounded off the session with a presentation on Sports Floodlighting and the upgrade requirements when changing from a natural turf pitch to a 3G pitch.
After a short break where delegates were able to network with suppliers from Top Turf (irrigation specialists), Timali (sponsorship opportunities) & Harrod UK (training and match day equipment), Dr Colin Young from Labosports delivered an informative talk on the testing requirements for 3G pitches in accordance with FA & FIFA guidelines. Dr Young went on to expose certain myths surrounding 3G pitches (did you know that despite high profile sports media references, 4G pitches do not exist?) and warned of using cheaper suppliers to fit with budgets. Curtis Allen from Charterhouse finished the morning session with an entertaining and hard hitting presentation on what can happen if a 3G pitch is not maintained properly.
Lunch followed, and the hospitality Harlow Town FC had extended all day was highlighted in the fantastic buffet they laid on for all delegates, speakers and suppliers. Charterhouse conducted an on-pitch demonstration of their maintenance equipment and the Harlow Town Academy did a training session on the 3G pitch.
The final session of the day was kicked off with Mark Pover of the FA giving an update on 3G pitch testing and funding. Mark explained about the ‘Register’ that all 3G pitches are required to be on to ensure that testing and quality of surface are monitored annually. The final word of the day went to Harlow Town FC. Dave Square, Academy Secretary at Harlow Town FC and Ryman Round Up Host spoke passionately about the impact the 3G pitch had on the Club and the community. Standing in for the absent Tom Cunningham, Dave talked about how the Club was hours away from bankruptcy such was the dire state of their finances. The decision to build the 3G pitch was taken after consulting with Maidstone United FC and understanding the return on the investment if the model was managed properly. Dave concluded his presentation by predicting that despite the significant investment in the pitch in 2013, the club would become solvent again by mid 2015 based on current projects and income streams derived directly and indirectly from the pitch installation.
A lively Q&A session followed with the assembled audience being able to quiz our panel of experts on the finer points of 3G funding, design, build and maintenance.
For more information on 3G pitch installation please contact Scott Milne at firstname.lastname@example.org