Asia’s largest naval academy shoots for world-class hockey fields2018-01-30
With the motto ‘shaping future naval leadership’, the Indian Naval Academy takes its goals very seriously. With 1,200 trainees present at any given moment, the academy is the largest of its kind on the Asian continent, and the 2nd-largest in the world. To support the physical and mental development of its cadets in the best way possible, the administration chose to install two brand-new artificial turf hockey fields by none other than Lano Sports.
The Indian Navy, founded over 400 years ago, is a key regional maritime power and known for its diplomatic and humanitarian efforts. To prepare young men and women for professional commissions with this important military body, the Indian Naval Academy seeks to develop their moral, mental and physical prowess. Sports and physical activities are an essential element of life at the academy, making high-quality facilities of the utmost importance.
A reputation for excellence
While cricket is undoubtedly India’s most popular sport, field hockey comes in at a close second, with the country having won eight Olympic gold medals in the sport. The Indian Naval Academy has its own field hockey team, of course, but it also plays host to professional tournaments and matches in addition to inter-academy games.
“More than 100 recreational and professional matches are held annually at our facility, including professional-tier Indian Navy matches,” explains Rajesh Pillas, Commander at the Indian Naval Academy. “We wanted our new fields to live up to global hockey pitch standards, and Lano Sports hockey turfs are known for their world-class quality.”
That’s why the academy chose to install two Lano Sports Hockey Solution fields on its premises, completing the installation in early December 2017.
Winning under even the toughest conditions
Located in the State of Kerala on the southern tip of India, the Indian Naval Academy sits in a tropical region known for high temperatures, high humidity and plenty of downpours for months at a time. “The climate is challenging at our location,” Rajesh continues. “Six months of monsoons means extremely wet conditions for half of the year. Our tropical heat and high humidity, even during the fair-weather period, make natural grass completely impossible, especially with all of the play we see.”
The climate – and the winter monsoon season – made the December installation no easy feat, and the remote location also posed some challenges. “The academy is nowhere near a large city of any kind, which made it difficult to transport materials. Even more, the soil under the field is difficult to work with – it’s essentially rock,” Rajesh elaborates.
But even in the face of these obstacles, installation was completed on time. “Working with Lano Sports was a very good experience and proceeded smoothly.”
To be continued...
From now on, the Indian Naval Academy – and the Indian Navy – can enjoy robust, attractive pitches certified by the International Hockey Federation that stand up to just about anything. Rajesh: “In addition to the low maintenance, the reassuring guarantee was a huge plus for us. We can look forward to excellent play year-round for quite a long time, with minimal upkeep.”
Both pitches have successfully passed the field testing and met FIH Global criteria. Rajesh: “Our local trials have had great results – even ball bounce and consistent roll qualities that are necessary for a professional-tier game. We can’t wait to get playing.”
Even more, the Indian Naval Academy is planning to equip four additional field hockey pitches with new artificial turf – for a full-Lano facility. “It’s Lano Sports all the way for us,” Rajesh concludes.