The service men and women at RAF Odiham in Hampshire are benefiting from a brand new 3G pitch after their existing weathered sand based pitch was taken up and re-surfaced by local sports ground firm Kestrel Contractors LTD. Kestrel had previously constructed a third generation (3G) 5-a-side pitch for RAF Spadeadam in Cumbria the same year which gave RAF Odiham all the assurances they required when opting for Kestrel to carry out the works.
The 13 year old sand filled hockey surface was showing signs of wear and suffering drainage issues so it was evident that the pitch needed to be re-surfaced. 3G synthetic turf, usually associated with high level football usage, had recently been actively endorsed by the Federation of International Hockey (FIH) therefore the RAF didn't hesitate to re-surface the area with a 40mm pile 3G turf, allowing them to play both of their chosen sports, football and hockey.
Kestrel began work at the end of 2009 and started by lifting up and disposing of the existing sand filled grass surface and underlying preformed rubber shockpad. The existing 2 layer porous macadam sub base then required an amount of remediation's to correct some minor level undulations and rectify the drainage issues before the new surface could be laid.
When this was complete, a 15mm thick wet pour rubber shockpad was poured and levelled to achieve the required tolerances set by the FIH. This was soon followed by a 40mm 3G artificial grass infilled with sand and rubber crumb as well as line markings to accommodate both football and hockey.
The full sized pitch is now regularly fully booked by both the RAF service men and women and the local community due to the improved safety and feel of the new surface.