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3G To Play A Vital Role In Grassroots Football

Mon 21st Dec 2015 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

The results of the FA's largest-ever grassroots survey highlight the huge potential for 3G pitches to change the face of English football for the better, according to a leading industry spokesperson.

Paul Langford, managing director of leading synthetic turf manufacturer TigerTurf UK and vice chairman of the Sports and Play Construction Association (SAPCA)’s Manufacturers and Suppliers Group, believes the correlation between quality of facilities and participation at all levels creates an urgent need for more artificial pitches. The statement comes in light of the survey’s revelation that 25% of its 28,750 respondents would play more football if they had access to better facilities.

Paul comments: “For the first time, we now have concrete evidence that the quality of our pitches at grassroots level has a direct impact on the amount of football played by footballers of all ages.

“Quite understandably, those playing on poorly-maintained pitches are likely to reduce the amount they play next season, which leaves the sport faced with a huge challenge. The FA has to improve the standard of pitches as quickly as possible, and maintain a much higher standard for years to come.

“Artificial turf has already won over a remarkable number of sceptics and is beginning to position itself as the FA’s magic bullet when it comes to transforming facilities and increasing participation.

“As more community clubs around the country continue to reap the financial and operational benefits of 3G pitches, there’s no question plenty of others will follow – not least as local authorities search for pitches which are simpler to maintain.

“It is pleasing to see funding set aside to bring the number of 3G pitches more in line with other European nations, but we need to make sure this funding is more than just a quick fix.

“We are seeing a number of local authorities have their budgets squeezed, which makes regular maintenance of our pitches extremely difficult. 3G pitches may not be completely maintenance free, but their ability to stand up to adverse weather conditions with minimal maintenance means they offer huge potential to increase participation and minimise whole life cost; ultimately helping us to enhance the sport at grassroots level.”

Posted by: Aaron Gourley 

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