The boys at Harrow School enjoy afternoon games five times a week, with a choice of thirty-two different sports to keep them healthy and active. Harrow teams regularly win county and national championships and the school enjoys partnerships with professional bodies such as the Saracens Foundation and Queens Park Rangers Football Club. Founded in 1572 under a Royal Charter granted by Queen Elizabeth 1, Harrow's location is on a 300 acre estate.
The school is surrounded by acres of sports fields ranging from Astroturf pitches, 2G hockey and tennis, 3G rubber crumb, sixteen winter pitches and nine cricket through to a 9-hole golf course. That's plenty for the groundsmen to be looking after, with Grounds Manager Michael Kemmett heading the team of eleven. Maintaining such large areas of synthetic turf takes a special mix of machinery and each pitch demands their own, specific, type of maintenance. Michael chose GKB machines following demonstrations and began with the GKB Quick brush in the summer of 2017, followed by the introduction of a Quick Clean in the November. Quick Brush is a modular brush that can be adjusted to each task, choosing between a rake, double brush and rubber finishing rag. There is a 'flip over tool' to enable infill material to be easily added to new fields.
"We liked the Quick Brush for its ability to carry out the correct synthetic turf maintenance, whatever the requirements. We use it every couple of weeks on the surfaces and after using the Quick Clean," says Michael, "it's excellent for the getting pile to stand up and it's also very good for the cricket outfields and pitches." The Quick Clean is used on sand and rubber crumb and was chosen for its powerful in-depth cleaning of all types of synthetic turf pitches. With the wide variety of sports surfaces at Harrow School, the extraction of debris needs to be adjusted to suit the technical characteristics of each pitch.
"We first saw the Quick Clean at the Cologne show and it looked the part to fit our criteria," Michael adds, "we were looking for quality and stand-out of the patterns after cleaning, and it needs to work fast and be reliable. We have all that and you can tell from the quality build the machine is going to last. That makes it very competitive as well as achieving precisely what we need to maintain our surfaces. We're very pleased with the great results we're getting from the GKB machines" he says.
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