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Sports and Play Industry Association gets industry launch at National Sports Convention

Sports and Play Industry Association gets industry launch at National Sports Convention
June 23, 2016

Australia’s peak body for sports construction, the Sports Contractors Association, has launched a new brand and emphasis at the 2016 National Sports Convention.

To now be known as the Sports and Play Industry Association (SAPIA), the new naming reflects the Association’s expansion to include a group of the country’s leading playground surfacers who share the same goals as the sports contractors - to raise industry standards, educate the marketplace and create a marque that would help to differentiate dedicated providers from ‘fly by nighters’ and ‘cowboys’.

Introducing the SAPIA on the first day of the National Sports Convention at Sydney’s Rosehill Racecourse, Association President and former elite tennis player Mark Edmondson explained “this is the second time the association has had a change of name after starting life in 1986 as the Tennis Court & Sports Field Builders Association.

“In 2004 our name changed to the Sports Contractors Association due to its membership having expanded to include equipment suppliers and professional consultants, in addition to builders and installers.”

With its combination of sport, recreation and play contractor members, SAPIA believes it is in a position to lead from the front on both sports and recreation construction matters, to advise, adjudicate and uphold industry best practice.

SAPIA has formed a strategic alliance with its UK counterpart the Sports and Play Construction Association (SAPCA), with SAPCA becoming affiliate members of SAPIA, and have received permission to adapt SAPCA’s Codes of Practice for Australian situations.

SAPIA members, under the chairmanship of Grant Humphreys, of testing institute AcoustoScan, have started drafting the Code of Practice for the Installation and Maintenance of Wet-Pour Safer Surfacing for Playgrounds.

Other Codes will follow, and will be written from the builder or installer’s point of view.

In addition, SAPIA has recently appointed Honorary Members, including:

• Dr David Eager, an expert in playground safety and surfacing research, currently associate professor with the Faculty of Engineering Information Technology at University of Technology Sydney. Professor Eager sits on a large number of international and Australian Standards committees relevant to the sports and recreation industries;

• George Apted, a Melbourne consultant engineer who has provided the Association with many years of engineering advice, and contributed to our Guide Specifications for Tennis Court Construction, a detailed construction manual which we provide free of charge and which can be downloaded from our website;

• Jack Davies, a Sydney-based consultant structural engineer who has specialised in tennis court and sports field design and construction for over 40 years. Jack was a good tennis player, squash player and cricketer in his own right, and was a consultant to Tennis NSW for many years;

• Maurice Philp, former president of Tennis Queensland from 1998-2004, as well as a specialist geotechnical engineer. Maurice was a member of Tennis Queensland’s Technical Services Advisory Group which published the first Technical Manual for the Design, Construction and Maintenance of Tennis Facilities, a task on which some of our Queensland members also collaborated.

Edmondson also mentioned that they were looking forward to the input of Martin Sheppard of Smart Connection, the convenor of the National Sports Convention, who has agreed to join SAPIA as a member of its professional services division.

Looking forward, Edmondson added “we want to make sure that the best tennis courts, sports fields and play spaces are designed, built, installed and maintained to a high standard by people who have been trained to do the job right and who offer appropriate warranties.

“Working together as an Association, he said, our members are dedicated to delivering this outcome and ensuring that this is the future of sports and play in Australasia.”

A new website for the association, is due to be launched.

For information on SAPIA contact 1800 208 202 in Australia or 0800 208 202 in New Zealand, E:

The Association's annual conference is being held in Sydney on 9th September.

Lower image: Mark Edmondson speaks at the launch of the Sports and Play Industry Association.

Click here for more information in the Australasian Leisure Management industry Calendar.




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