Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

HG Sports Turf explains playing surface transformation for AFL Premiership’s China debut

HG Sports Turf explains playing surface transformation for AFL Premiership’s China debut
June 4, 2017

Another Australian success behind the recent Round 8 AFL Premiership clash at Shanghai’s Jingwan Stadium saw HG Sports Turf transform the venue’s dilapidated surface into a high quality field for Gold Coast Suns and Port Adelaide players.

HG Sports Turf played a big part in the international match becoming a reality, being first engaged by the AFL in the early part of 2016 when AFL were reviewing suitable venues in Shanghai.

Once the venue was locked in, HG Sports Turf were chosen by the AFL to undertake the improvement and management of the turf surface from November 2016 to May this year.

HG Sports Turf General Manager Erik Kinlonexplains “we managed with a local crew on the ground full time following a strict, HG Sports Turf program for improvements and maintenance of the AFL surface. 

“HG Sports Turf managers led by Nathan Humphreys attended the site on a regular basis to monitor the progress of the works and assess the field (and we then) sent an experienced crew to the venue for two weeks to execute the preparations for the game.”

When first encountering the venue, HG Sports Turf found a surface with inconsistent grass cover and and ground levels.

With the previous onsite maintenance consisting of two men and two 20-inch rotary mowers with catchers, mowing whatever grass was left at approximately 40mm, HG Sports Turf employed a local consultant in China to help manage/communicate with the locals, as, Kinlon explains “the language barrier (was) a challenge.”

HG Sports Turf then undertook all programming of works and took responsibility for the oversight of all works on the ground to ensure they were executed to the standard required. 

Kinlon adds “all turf maintenance consumables and machinery were procured locally in China, with some degree of difficulty - machinery availability and quality proved a challenge. 

“We imported a line-marker to undertake the field markings, as the locals would normally use a regular paint roller on a long handle, similar to painting your house.

“All paints for logos and lines were sourced from Australia, in order of maintaining consistency in colours for logos with existing AFL venues.”

With a set of Abel Sports goal posts already at the venue, post sockets had to be re-set as the old sockets had been demolished.

Kinlon continued “because of the conditions of the AFL field at the stadium, the AFL engaged us to supply a nursery of our ‘Ready to Play’ Eclipse turf as some insurance against the damage from unregulated use, this would give us the flexibility to install turf if irreparable damage was to occur close to the event. 

“AFL had exclusivity to the area, which seemed to go unnoticed at times with the locals, and the field was used at night times, which we didn’t find out until turning up the following day.

“Field usage regulations were a big challenge, as was limited water supply and insufficient pressure. The holding tank for the irrigation system took about 45 minutes to refill, but would empty after 10-12 minutes application per station.

“So it would take 8 hours to apply less than 1mm to the field.

“The irrigation infrastructure at the venue was all manual, so ... all watering was undertaken in daylight hours, with the exception of game week, where we had staff at the venue through the night to ensure we could get sufficient water into the turf.

“Local authorities also requested just 24 hours prior that the venue be shut down on game day for three hours ... game day preparation was out the window and we ended up working through the night before to make sure it was all in order for play.”

Kinlon reflects appropriate resources were difficult to manage in China, advising “even the most basic tools we take for granted over here are simply not used there , so there was a lot of adapting to local tools as well as improvisation.

“Some of the lengths we went to included hand watering out of a wheelbarrow, making our own tools out of construction materials on site, even cutting turf with a bread knife and a meat cleaver.

“Quality was very difficult to manage in China (and) I just don’t think there is enough exposure to high performance sports surfaces in the region, so our view of what is acceptable and the locals’ view was light years apart.

“However, after executing this project and having the exposure at this level, I think it is a step in the right direction for the locals to understand what is required to produce a high quality turf surface.”

As for how the ground received on match day by the AFL, the teams and the players, Kinlon concludes “AFL officials were extremely happy with the results that were produced and the players even more so.

“Some players and officials even took the time to come and thank us individually.  In our trade we generally only hear the criticisms from players or the media, so it was a great result to have the feedback that we did.”

Click here to contact HG Sports Turf via their entry in the Australasian Leisure Management Supplier Directory.

Images (from top): HG Sports Turf's completed surface at Shanghai’s Jingwan Stadium; the surface prior to HG Sports Turf's involvement and staff prepare the surface for the Round 8 AFL Premiership clash.

4th June 2017 - ABEL SPORTS SUPPLY GOALPOSTS FOR AFL’S SHANGHAI ADVENTURE

12th May 2017 - AFL SECURES LAST-MINUTE CHINESE BROADCAST DEAL FOR SHANGHAI GAME 

27th October 2016 - AFL 2017 SEASON TO FEATURE COMPETITIVE MATCH IN SHANGHAI 

15th April 2016 - PORT ADELAIDE AND THE AFL SIGN MOU TO PLAY 2017 PREMIERSHIP MATCH IN CHINA 

27th March 2015  - HG SPORTS TURF SHARE DETAILS OF DESSO GRASSMASTER INSTALLATION AT CFA MELBOURNE

3rd November 2014 - SHEFFIELD SHIELD SEASON OPENER PUTS NEW MCG SURFACE TO THE TEST

21st October 2014 - DESSO GRASSMASTER INCREASES ITS PRESENCE AT BIG TOURNAMENTS

14th November 2012 - XTRAGRASS HYBRID TURF SYSTEM OFFERS THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

iDwala Pty Ltd

iDwala is the Community Sports Facility Specialist offering the highest quality designs and technical expertise to Councils, Schools and Sporting Clubs looking to create sporting…

read more

Consultants / Design / Recreation / Sport / Surfaces

 
 

Fun Wheels Pty Ltd

Fun Wheels Pty Ltd are the premium dealer in Australasia for the Dutch company BERG’s commercial and domestic products. Our flagship product is their revolutionary pedal go-kart – the…

read more

Attractions / Tourism / Venues

 
 

SWIMPLEX AQUATICS

Swimplex Aquatics are a world-class company dedicated to the commercial pool, waterslide industry. We are Australian market leaders servicing all states Australia wide. Swimplex provide a full…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Design / Play / Waterparks

 
 

GREENEDESK

Track. Engage. Retain GreeneDesk is a suite of cloud based software solutions helping health clubs, leisure centres and swim schools to effectively track progression, improve customer engagement and…

read more

Aquatics / Billing / Education / Fitness / Technology

 
 

Worldwide Sports Management

Principal Consultant Simon Weatherill has spent the last 20 years developing the world renowned Melbourne Sports Hub, as former Chief Executive Officer of the State Sports Centres Trust…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues

 
 
 
 

LIFE FLOOR (Aus & NZ)

Our team believes floors should be beautiful, comfortable, and engineered for safety, even when wet. Life Floor tiles meet six unique performance based standards: slip-resistance, impact absorption,…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Recreation / Safety / Surfaces

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business