Sports construction specialist, South Wales Sports Grounds, delivered a 3G playing pitch, surrounded by a six-lane athletics track, at the Bryn Celynnog school in Beddau in the South Wales Valleys.
The co-educational Bryn Celynnog secondary school offers a comprehensive education to students from the ages of 11-18. In 2018, a decision was made to invest in new sports facilities, which would be used by both pupils and the local community. With the help of funding from Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council (RCTCBC), South Wales Sports Grounds was appointed to deliver the £800,000 project.
The development included the construction of a World Rugby and FIFA-compliant 3G surface and a 400m, six-lane athletics track.
The running track provides a training and competition surface and was built with the help of sub-contractor and fellow SAPCA member Polytan. The track boasts the Polytan SmarTrack system, which enables timing and tracking using magnets laid beneath the surface. The system allows users to record and check their performances in real-time through an app on their phones.
Meanwhile, the 3G pitch inside the track was designed to be suitable for rugby training as well as football. The project was completed with a SUDS drainage system.
The construction project posed a number of challenges, from weather and ground conditions to the discovery of contamination and himalayan balsam (an invasive species). In addition, the live school environment needed to be taken into consideration too.
Despite the challenges, South Wales Sports Grounds completed the development in 20 weeks.
The response to the project has been excellent. Adrian Watkins, design project manager at RCTCBC, said: “The school and the local community have been delighted with their new sports facilities, which were finished to an excellent standard.
“Everyone has been impressed by the care taken throughout the works to minimise any disruption to the day-to-day running of the school and the efforts to ensure the safety of the pupils. I would certainly recommend South Wales Sports Grounds as a contractor on future projects.”
Joy Rosser, RCTCBC’s cabinet member for education and inclusion services, added: “I’m very pleased that another one of our schools is now benefitting from the significant council investment in outdoor leisure facilities, delivered through the #RCTinvest Programme.
“The Bryn Celynnog facility is helping schools deliver the physical education curriculum, and is important for encouraging pupils to take part in outdoor leisure activities from a young age.”