You TubeFacebookTwitterflickrGoogle plus
Wednesday, 24 April 2019 03:41 am

Artificial turf turnover puts ‘after match’ at risk

Jul 26th, 2012 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News, Sport

CHEERS: Petone Rugby Club members (from left) Eugene Winterburn, Craig Stevenson and Ben Hendry.

ARTIFICIAL turf grounds in Wellington are providing better playing conditions, but may be undermining the social aspect of Saturday rugby.

The grounds are the way of the future because it allows all sports to be played all day and all night, says Wellington Football Club chairman Jason Judd.

But he thinks the much higher turnover of teams and crowds using the grounds could diminish camaraderie of Saturday games.

“It would be hard to have a club environment if there were all sorts of teams competing throughout the day,” he says. “There isn’t a chance to stay and to support your club.

“Although, if it is the difference between playing a game and not playing at all, then turf grounds gets the thumbs up.”

However, Wellington City councillor John Morrison (right) says while the new grounds may reduce a club’s comradeship with players and supporters, that is a minimal concern in the overall picture.

Most sporting clubs want to play as many games as possible, which the artificial turfs facilitate with staggering success, he says.

“The artificial turfs have a great ability to withstand a huge workload, achieving about 60-70 hours a week of playing time. Grass fields, on the other hand, are sometimes only useable for about 150 hours during a whole season.

“If there is any concern, it would be that clubs with artificial home grounds could become popular to play for.”

Petone coach Ben Hendry agrees, saying the country is so passionate about rugby, it would not matter when the games were played or what time the after functions were being held.

“If the artificial turfs were to have any sort of impact on rugby, it would be that there are more games,” he says.

“We would continue to support our teams, even if they became mid-week events.”

Council sports and recreation planning manager Glen McGovern says there has been plenty of positive feedback from players across all sports codes.

People are playing more regularly and participation in sports, especially rugby and football, has been increasing, he says.

“Artificial turfs are a very positive thing for clubs.”

Rugby players from Old Boys University would like to see more turf grounds because most parks around Wellington are in terrible condition.

“We have had two cancellations this year because the grounds are usually mud piles,” says Old Boys University player Ben Blackbourn (left).

Grass fields are preferable, but the artificial turf provides a better environment for a faster game of rugby, he says.

Wellington City Council has installed four all-weather turfs in Khandallah, Newtown and Island Bay, and at Wellington College near the Basin Reserve.

It plans to install two more by April 2014, one at St Patrick’s College in Kilbirnie and another at Alex Moore Park in Johnsonville.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

is a Whitireia journalism student.
Email this author | All posts by

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Radio News