The sand dressed FastPro HF18 pitch, at Gravesham and Wellcome Hockey Club, installed in the summer of 2019, had a short run before Covid, lockdowns and therefore no organised sport ensued. The 5 months before lockdown that the players had to use the pitch, proved a hit; however, after the snow, the rain, the furlough, we were curious to see how the pitch had faired.

We had some questions for the club’s chair, Simon Chapman, on how the pitch has been maintained and whether its playability has been impacted by the recent pandemic.

CCGrass, hockey field, Gravesham & Wellcome Hockey Club, UK
1. What is your maintenance schedule at the club?

The pitch is swept and cleared of debris on a weekly basis by the Sports Clubs groundsman.

2. How was this impacted during the last year or so with lockdowns?

As the groundsman was a paid employee of the club, and with no income coming into the Sports Club, the Groundsman was put on furlough, which meant the pitch did not have its weekly maintenance.  However, this didn’t have a major impact on the pitch due to lockdown and then Kent being on tier 4 and the pitch not being accessible for play throughout the period.

3. Do you maintain it in-house or do you bring in a specialist?

Both – In-house weekly by Groundsman, with an annual Deep Power sweep by an external specialist.

4. Do you or your players notice a difference when playing on the pitch post maintenance?

Absolutely – the pitch looks great and plays even more consistently after it’s been maintained.

5. In your words, how important is maintenance to prolong the life of your artificial grass surface?

With such an expense to replace an artificial grass surface, as a club, we consider it very important to ensure that regular and specialist maintenance is carried out on the pitch in order to ensure the maximum usage over time.

CCGrass, hockey field, Gravesham & Wellcome Hockey Club, UK

For more information on maintaining a top quality synthetic turf pitch, you can read more here.

Many thanks to Simon Chapman for his helpful answers.

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