I am a 16 year old student at the International School of Geneva. This paper should outline my perspective on synthetic turf, and the usage in schools.
I often hear football players complaining about how the pitch they want to play on is close due to “maintenance” or because it is being watered. These problems can all be avoided by converting these areas to synthetic turf.
So what exactly is it? Synthetic turf is a plastic version of natural grass, without the hassle of looking after it constantly. The turf is made of artificial fibres to look like natural grass. This is the perfect replacement for a problematic field, or a little splurge for your garden.
Synthetic turf ensures a constant environment for the players, when on the pitch, which is what all professional teams look for when choosing a pitch to train on. Synthetic turf doesn’t have holes in the ground, or areas that have been washed and eroded away by natural processes. It also does not need time to recover in between each use, as natural grass does.
It is not only perfect for sports fields, but also leisure purposes such as an at home putting green, or an area in your garden for a patio without weeds growing and ruining the grass for your children and guests. Because what is better than lying down in an exceptionally soft bed of grass, while the sunshine pours down from above heating you up gently, while drinking a smoothie?
Want to get rid of a guilty conscience? This is the perfect solution. No need to water the synthetic turf, or use fertilizers and pesticides. You could be saving upto3billiongallons of water every year, from not having to water the grass. Since the turf doesn’t grow the way grass does, you have no more need to mow the lawn, therefore will be cutting down on your CO2 pollution. It can also be used for rooftop gardens, as it is lighter than natural grass, and won’t damage the roof. Now you can brag to all your friends about how you have all year round green garden, and a green thumb.
Synthetic turf is becoming increasing popular, the largest field being 136 005 m 2. The lines are permanent, no need to constantly paint them so that they stay visible. It is durable, can be used in all weather conditions, and is cheaper overall than natural grass. If it is being used in a cold country, heating pads can be installed underneath the turf before it is placed, to melt the ice during the coldest season. The turf is filled with rubber crumbs, made from recycled car tyres, instead of throwing them away, they can be reused.
Worldwide the most common use of synthetic turf is contact sports, then leisure. Europe is the primary consumer of synthetic turf, and there is a lot of evidence showing that it is a positive change to the sports industry. The rubber filling prevents injuries and helps balls and players play more smoothly than ever before.
At my school, the outdoor football pitch is made of synthetic turf, and it is very useful. During almost every period of the day there is someone on it, no matter what the season. It is used for athletics, football, sports days, primary school, and secondary. It is a place where students can reunite and join together to play and enjoy sports in a way, that natural grass would not be able to do. In schools, where the pitch is constantly being used, this is a great solution, and will reduce the cost of maintaining a natural pitch, overall.
To conclude, synthetic turf is an excellent idea for schools as it supports the constant use and does not get exposed to harsh weather the same way natural grass does. I feel that it should be implemented more commonly as it is a good solution to many problems that arise with natural grass fields.