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Farewell to ‘the Swamp’: Barnes HC trades its water-based for sand-dressed pitch

2019-01-03

Located in the London riverside park Dukes Meadow, Barnes Hockey Club deals with rainfall fairly regularly, throughout the whole year. But since the drainage of its water-based pitch proved poor, the management team decided to go for an FIH-approved, semi-sand dressed system by Lano Sports.  

Barnes Hockey Club was founded in 1889 and is home to men’s, ladies and junior teams. Regardless of their age or gender, every member has an experienced coach overseeing their development. In order to provide them with more playing comfort, the club refurbished its field during the summer of 2018. At the grand opening in August, the hockey players raised their glasses and waved goodbye to ‘the Swamp’.

A structural problem

David George, pitch manager and coach at Barnes HC, explains why the refurbishment of the club’s field was necessary: “Our grass carpet was only 11 years old and not too bad, but we noticed that the drainage of our water-based pitch was rather problematic, so we really needed to tackle its structure. In fact, the ground underneath required a complete resurfacing.”

Water vs. sand

To improve the drainage of its pitch, Barnes HC turned to Lano Sports. David: “We explored other options but favored Lano Sports’ S•Tec Revolution Xperience: a semi-sand dressed field that meets the FIH standards. After the installation – which ran very smoothly – we felt really satisfied: our maintenance costs decreased, while we ‘deswamped’ our field and got rid of our algae problem.”

How did the members and coaches react to the new pitch? “They were absolutely delighted. Of course, they had to adjust their way of playing a little bit, but everyone has been very positive about the welcome renovation”, David assures.