If your club's practice net facility is looking a little worse for wear, but the budget won't quite stretch to the design and installation of an entire new facility, there is a solution that could provide you with a system that's not only as good as new - but that is streets ahead of the one that was originally installed - for a fraction of the cost.
Sports surface specialist total-play Ltd, renowned for its state-of-the-art range of cricket non-turf pitches, including the ECB approved tp365 system, is a veteran of numerous such projects. But rather than simply rolling out a 'one size fits all' solution when undertaking refurbishments, the total-play team takes into account a variety of factors - from the type and condition of underlying sub-base through to the level of play required, any special client needs and, of course, budget.
From simply replacing carpets to installing new nets and repairing or re-laying dynamic sub-bases, total-play can provide a tailored solution to meet your club's needs. This, combined with its position as the first ECB approved NTP (non-turf pitch) installer and the fact that it can draw on a range on NTP components designed in-house to specifically suit different needs and budgets, has seen numerous clubs appoint the company to undertake their nets refurbishment projects.
One of the most recent such jobs was at Berkshire's Sulhamstead & Ufton CC which was looking to repair its open-ended 27m, three-lane system, which had seen well over a decade's heavy use. Following a site visit and discussion with several suppliers, the club contracted total-play to fully refurbish the facility; with works to include the upgrading of the stone sub-base, the installation of new shock pads and playing carpets, and the erection of new steelwork and nets. Club Chairman, Peter Towndrow, says:
"When we considered the quotations and the information gleaned from the site visits in further detail, we ended up with total-play as our first choice, and we agreed to place the contract with them. We were impressed with the depth of refurbishment they proposed, and with the price they quoted and, although we by now also had a very good relationship with the other short-listed company, we felt that total-play would meet our needs more closely."
Upon completing the upgrade of the existing sub-base, new shock pads were installed and total-play replaced the existing 2.74m wide playing carpet, which had allowed grass to grow inside the system causing a maintenance nightmare, with a fully fitted carpet 3.65m wide; thus eliminating the need for mowing, strimming and weeding within the nets.
The new steelwork is also significantly wider and of stronger construction than that it replaced, (which had been subject to considerable weather damage) and was fitted with total-play's revolutionary 'Protection Tunnel' netting system that offers additional protection to the batter from errant balls from other lanes, as each lane is formed from a single net 'cocoon'. Bespoke touches to the nets included green coloured netting, so as to be unobtrusive within the landscape, and were fitted with PVC anti-vermin skirts and lockable lane barriers to prevent misuse of the facility. White mesh curtains in a wrap design were also fitted; at a height of 1.5m to the rear and sides, these are designed to offer additional protection and an isolated environment in which batsmen can focus whilst still enabling coaches to observe players in action to offer guidance and advice. Looking back on the project, Peter says:
"Once the actual work was able to start, after the atrocious weather at the start of 2012, we were very pleased with the way the team went about the job. They were always friendly and helpful, and the work carried out was first class. The players at the club, at all levels, are delighted with their new practice facility, and it is already in full use."
To find out how total-play Ltd could help breathe life back into your non turf or natural playing surface, visit www.total-play.co.uk or call James Coney on 01604 864575.