ETC Sports Surfaces are passionate about building an active nation, and a lifelong love of sports often starts in early childhood. Schools play a vital role in exposing children to the joy of physical activity and competition. But, for so many UK schools, space is at a premium – limiting the range of sporting opportunities they can offer.
An ideal solution is a space-saving MUGA – or multi use games area – which can accommodate up to four sports on the same pitch by colour coding the relevant markings for each sport. MUGAs also have many advantages over natural grass turf. They’re designed for tough, all year round use in all weathers, they provide even the youngest children with a safe, comfortable surface on which to play, and maintaining them is cost-effective, with most modern MUGAS requiring only minimal maintenance and offering an initial life span of up to ten years.
For the children of Bishops C of E and RC Primary School in Chelmsford, Essex, Autumn 2018 was an exciting time for their sporting activities, as they got to enjoy a brand new MUGA, installed by ETC Sports Surfaces, for the very first time. As a member of the Chelmsford School Sports Partnership, the school offers a wide range of sports for children to try, from gymnastics to cricket and basketball. But their old natural grass pitch was worn and tired, and prone to flooding in winter and drying out in summer.
ETC Sports Surfaces designed and installed a full MUGA solution, featuring a Matchplay II needle punch surface by Playrite, which offers improved drainage so that the pitch can be used whatever the weather. This was complemented by a sports fence giving a double wire system which has the benefit of virtually eliminating rattle noise so that disturbance to neighbouring residents is avoided.
The project was started on the 23 July 2018 and completed in just twelve weeks. The school’s Site Manager, Danny Clark, confirmed that the children are delighted with the new MUGA facility. “The children and staff absolutely love our new MUGA,” he said. “It has created a whole new contained space for activity in all weathers, there’s no more ‘keep off the grass’ rules or problems with mud. The product itself is very well made and professionally installed by ETC. From start to finish they had everything seamlessly covered to create this great addition to our school.”