As one of the top cricketing schools in the country, ensuring students have access to first class training facilities - including artificial cricket practice nets - is a top priority for historic St Edward's School in Oxford.
With its existing artificial cricket practice nets facility no longer fit for purpose, the school appointed Scotland-based Sports Labs Ltd to handle the design and contractor tender process for a new state of the art system. With tender submissions from a number of leading suppliers, the process was rigorous, with ECB Code of Practice installer for non-turf pitches, total-play Ltd, selected to install a 6 lane facility based on its ECB approved tp365 design. The decision was based on a number of factors including the quality of submission, experience, competitive pricing and the ability to complete the works within a rigid timescale.
Once appointed, total-play Ltd drew on its experience to suggest some revisions to the original specification. This included a North/South orientation, as recommended by the ECB, and making the facility fully enclosed to enable use out of season (avoiding contamination when adjacent winter sports pitches in use). Longer run-ups for bowlers were also part of the revised specification and one of the lanes was constructed to the company's ECB approved bound tpB1 system design for use with a bowling machine.
With all revisions accepted by the client, work commenced in Spring 2016; starting with the removal of the original East-West orientated facility. The site itself proved something of a challenge - lying directly off the perimeter of an existing cricket pitch, total-play built two ramps for access. All operatives also had to be DBS checked to work on an active education site, be inducted on site and weekly progress reports delivered to the managing agent.
The project ran smoothly, with the fully enclosed system completed featuring bespoke elements including white lines, a PVC skirt, batting curtains and white back net completed before the start of summer term.
Richard Hayes, Estates Bursar at the school, says:
"We're really impressed with the new cricket practice nets and have made plenty of use of them already, meaning we have some very pleased young sportsmen and women. total-play brought a combination of price, references and availability backed by experience and successful track record to the project; which was competed to a high quality, on time and on budget. I'd happily recommend them to schools looking to improve their cricketing facilities."