The 2018 SAPCA Awards attracted a record number of entries, with a total of 17 contenders being named as finalists for the prestigious honour. From those, a panel of judges chose David Morley Architects as the overall winner of the prize for the company’s work on the Sports Hub at University of Warwick.
Among the finalists was synthetic pitch system specialist Notts Sport, which was recognised for its pioneering new cricket surface, NottsGrass Ultra.
Notts Sport has placed the provision of consistent playing performance at the heart of its research and development of cricket systems. The company’s new NottsGrass Ultra surface is a result of this drive for innovation.
Incorporating an advanced, texturised monofilament yarn, NG Ultra has been developed to maintain its high performance levels. In a sport such as cricket, it is important to have a playing surface that is as consistent as possible. Having coaches and players confident in how the ball interacts with the surface results in better teaching, coaching and playing experiences.
NottsGrass Ultra has also been designed to provide the perfect balance between seam and spin. It is engineered to be low-slip for increased safety.
“Combining the NG Ultra with our proven non-turf cricket systems combines the best of traditional system technology with new surface and fibre advances, and sets new parameters for how a cricket surface and system performs,” said Duncan Bennett, Managing Director of Notts Sport. “It is the only surface in England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)-approved system to use texturised monofilament yarns.”
As well as consistency, the surface has been designed as a durable product. Independent laboratory test results show that the NG Ultra fibre maintains critical performance characteristics for longer when compared to previous surface technology. In laboratory abrasion tests, it was proven to be the longest lasting cricket surface available (when tested to BS EN 13672).
“This significant development will provide improved playing performance over a much longer period of time which, in turn, creates more realistic and consistent performance throughout the life of your cricket facility,” Duncan Bennett, Managing Director of Notts Sport adds.
“By creating this advantage, life costs will also reduce because performance is maximised for longer, meaning resurfacing and remediation works will be required with less frequency maximising strategic investments in cricket facilities.”
A number of operators have already chosen the new system for their facilities.
One of these is Cricket Ireland, which chose NottsGrass Ultra as the surface for its brand new performance centre. Launched in West Dublin in August 2018, the centre features five synthetic practice wickets – and extended run ups – using NottsGrass Ultra.
“This is an asset that will benefit the current and future generations of cricketers across Ireland,” said Ross McCollum, chair of Cricket Ireland.
“The design of this facility has been developed through significant research of the world’s best cricket training facilities by our coaches and performance staff.”
As well as elite players, the surface is suitable for grassroots clubs and educational institutions. Another of the early installations of the new surface took place at the William Perkin C of E High School in Greenford, west London.
When the school looked to add a new training facility to its offering, it appointed SAPCA member S&C Slatter to provide it. S&C Slatter then selected NottsGrass Ultra to be used as the surface for the new four-lane, 34m length, coaching and practice facility.
“With Lord’s Cricket Ground and leading independent schools already choosing NottsGrass Ultra for their cricket facilities, we are keen to get more facilities to talk to our cricket design specialists to discuss how NottsGrass Ultra can provide them with state of the art cricket technology,” added Duncan Bennett, Managing Director of Notts Sport.
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