One Leisure

One Leisure St. Ives wins pitch maintenance award (with a little help from Technical Surfaces!)

One Leisure St Ives has won the coveted IOG Kubota/Redexim Charterhouse Best Maintained Artificial Pitch of the Year for its 3G surface, and has thanked Technical Surfaces for their efforts in helping them to achieve industry recognition.

The IOG Industry Awards recognises the achievements of grounds maintenance on natural and artificial surfaces, with categories including Grass Roots Sports Ground of the Year, Professional Sports Ground Team of the Year and Groundsman of the Year.

This year’s ceremony was hosted at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena, with One Leisure St. Ives nominated alongside Hampton School, Middlesex in the category of Best Maintained Artificial Pitch, which the IOG says “rewards the diligent maintenance of those who carry out the upkeep of their artificial surface“.

“We are very proud and honoured to receive the award, we pride ourselves very highly at the centre and it’s great recognition for the work we do”, explains Head Groundsman, Rob Bradshaw. “If you look after your surface, it will look after you, and it is with the combined efforts of our in-house maintenance and Technical Surfaces’ maintenance contract that we won this award.”

St Ives is one of five One Leisure sites managed by Huntingdonshire District Council. With more than 1.7 million people visiting One Leisure centres in 2012, their seven artificial pitches (located across Huntingdon, Ramsey, Sawtry, St Ives and St Neots) must continue to perform well all year round. So to complement each centre’s own in-house efforts, the council has employed pitch maintenance experts Technical Surfaces to provide regular specialist maintenance for five years.

“Our 3G pitch has around 70 hours of use a week,” says Rob. “Depending on hours played, our rule of thumb is 1 hour’s maintenance for every 10 hours of play. We aim to brush 3 times a week to keep the fibres up and the infill loose and we carry out regular litter picking daily on the surface. We also carry out regular checks on the posts to make sure they’re safe. We try to educate users of the facility in wearing correct footwear and try to keep general house-keeping to a high standard.”

Alongside this, Technical Surfaces’ NVQ-trained technicians carry out sweeps, decompactions, infill top-ups and vegetation treatments on a quarterly frequency, with the maintenance programme of each pitch suited for its age, size and construction.

Technical Surfaces utilises a 30-strong collection of dedicated maintenance machinery – including the SMG SportChamp and SMG CareMax – to maintain more than 420 artificial pitches nationwide. It is worth noting that Hampton School, the other finalist shortlisted for the IOG award, also use SMG machinery to carry out maintenance on their artificial sports pitch. Technical Surfaces is proud to be the sole UK Distributor of the SMG range of artificial pitch maintenance machinery, and works closely with their research team to develop new and improved machinery and equipment.

To help your artificial pitch achieve an award-winning standard of maintenance, contact Technical Surfaces on 08702 400 700, or visit