Act Global Sponsors Synthetic Turf for Homeless World Cup

The top quality pitches will host hundreds of players for seven days of football and fellowship in Glasgow’s George Square.

For the second consecutive year, Act Global is the official synthetic turf sponsor for the Homeless World Cup, which will take place this year in Glasgow, Scotland.

“It has been a privilege to be a Homeless World Cup sponsor, and witness the impact the organization has on players and communities around the world,” said Chris Clapham, co-owner of Act Global. “The event demonstrates the positive influence of sports and its ability to change lives.”

Clapham said that supporting the Homeless World Cup aligns with the company’s mission to positively impact society and help affect social change.

“Being able to help people and bring about change, these are the most rewarding parts of our work,” said Clapham.

Glasgow’s George Square will be converted into a street football venue from July 10 to 16, to host 64 teams from 52 nations. Act Global—alongside partner suppliers Bonar Yarns, Malcom Construction andSekisui —will provide three state-of-the-art synthetic turf surfaces for this year’s games.

The Xtreme Turf system selected for the tournament features a highly durable turf pile and a curled thatch layer from Bonar Yarns, which remains upright and resilient without infill applied. It is ideal for event use, as it offers a durable, consistent, all-weather surface, with little maintenance required. The system will be expertly installed on-site by Malcolm Construction over a Sekisui Alveosport pad, to offer excellent shock absorption and uniform performance over the entire field.

“To have three brand new playing surfaces means so much to the Homeless World Cup and to the players,” said Mel Young, co-founder and president of the Homeless World Cup. “The sense of empowerment that comes from participating in street football can help individuals envision change in their lives. For many of these players, this event is that catalyst for change.”

An estimated 100 million people are homeless worldwide, and as many as 1 billion lack access to suitable housing. Of past Homeless World Cup participants, 94 percent have said that the event positively impacted their life, and 77 percent have experienced significant change.

“We are inspired by the personal stories of change we’ve witnessed from players, and are honored to be a small part of this fantastic event,” said John Baize, co-owner of Act Global. “A heartfelt thank you to our partner suppliers who help us support such a worthy cause. We are looking forward to cheering the players on again in Glasgow!”


About Act Global

Act Global is a world leader in synthetic turf technology, with manufacturing facilities on three continents and sales in more than 70 countries. The company carries a full range of products for sports (Xtreme Turf and Xtreme Grass), landscaping (Xtreme Lawn), aviation (AvTurf) and land reclamation (LiteEarth). Act Global is a FIFA Preferred Producer for Football Turf, Synthetic Turf Council Certified Manufacturer, World Rugby Preferred Turf Producer, FIH Preferred Supplier, and holds ISO 9001 Certification. Its products have undergone hundreds of independent laboratory tests for quality, durability, safety, environmental soundness and performance.

Synthetic turf in the Scottish Premier League

Scottish football club Hamilton Academical FC play their home matches at New Douglas Park, which was opened in 2001. Construction of the stadium was completed in 2001. The pitch was converted to synthetic turf in 2004. After Hamilton was promoted to the Scottish Premier League in May 2008, the artificial surface had to be replaced by grass due to league rules. A temporary stand was erected in March 2008 to bring the stadium’s capacity up to the league requirement of 6,000.

At the beginning of season 2013/14 Hamilton returned to an artificial playing surface, after the club experienced a series of winter fixture postponements due to adverse weather conditions. Only one other club in the Scottish Premiership plays on synthetic turf, namely Kilmarnock.

Faced with a very short lead time, the installation of the synthetic pitch at New Douglas Park Stadium took just 5 weeks in total, with FIFA testing completed in time for the beginning of the 2013/14 Scottish Championship season. On completion of the £400,000 installation, Shaun Fagan, Commercial Manager at Hamilton Academicals FC commented: “The product itself alongside the additional bespoke anti-flood measures will ensure that we will be able to use our facilities all year round, giving us the potential to increase revenue, much happier fans and a better training/playing ground for our players. It will also support us to continue the projects we engage in with the local community, which is very important to the team at Hamilton.”

Since the summer installation, Hamilton Academical’s performances have gone from strength to strength, with the Accies being promoted to the the Scottish Premiership. The New Douglas Park outfit will be hoping that their brand new playing surface proves to be their signing of the summer in the 2014/15 premiership.

Halhill Sports Centre – home to 7 different sports clubs

Following a review in 2010 Hallhill Healthy Living Centre has been restructured, renaming itself Hallhill Sports Centre. A Company has been formed, with representatives from Dunbar Colts FC, Dunbar Utd JFC, Dunbar RFC, Dunbar Hockey Club, Dunbar Cricket Club, Dunbar Running Club and Dunbar Squash Club having a place on the Board along with 2 Local Councillor representatives and 3 community representatives. The company has been named Hallhill Ltd and has taken out a lease to operate the Centre from the owners, Dunbar Community Development Company.

This project is the first to be developed by Dunbar Community Development Company and provides a comprehensive range of sports facilities and activities to the people of Dunbar.  On an unused site within the town, the community-run organisation has built a large indoor clubhouse and a range of synthetic and grass pitches, creating a facility available for use by many of the town’s sports clubs.

The model is to provide affordable sport and community facilities through a social enterprise approach – community facilities owned by the community for the community. Hallhill’s aims and objectives are to encourage every member of the community to participate in a sport or a physical activity of their choice, provide training and information on how members of the community can live a healthier lifestyle, to provide a coaching development programme to help improve the fitness and performance level of members of the community and to provide a social framework that will enhance the social cohesion of the community.

Seven sports clubs call Hallhill Sports Centre their home as well as several other sports and physical activity programmes. The aim is to create a place where anyone in Dunbar can participate in sport or physical activity.

The diverse outdoor facilities at Halhill Sports Centre include a new synthetic pitch that has been opened in 2014, 3 additional football pitches, 2 rugby pitches, a synthetic all-weather pitch for hockey, football and training as well as athletics areas, a cricket pitch and a training area.

Inside facilities range from a lounge bar, to a function hall and meeting rooms, squash courts and changing facilities. 

New professional football stadium fields in Scotland and Wales

Last month has been important for the football club Stenhousemuir from the Scottish second division as well as the club Newton AFC from the Welsh Premier League as they got new professional football stadia with synthetic turf.


Stenhousemuir plays its home matches at Ochilview Park, which has initially opened in 1890. The stadium has a capacity of 3746 with 626 of them seated. The name Ochilview derives from the nearby Ochil Hills which are visible from the stadium. In 1928 a new main stand was constructed with bench seating for 310 spectators. It was built to replace the previous stand which was gutted by a fire in the same year.

In 1951 Ochilview wrote itself into Scottish football history when it was the venue of the first ever floodlit match in Scotland, during a friendly against Hibernian on 7 November 1951. In 1994, Stenhousemuir were considering relocation, having provisionally agreed to sell Ochilview to a supermarket chain for £2.5 million. The scheme, however, was frustrated by planning regulations, and instead it was decided to upgrade the existing stadium.

Apart from the new main stand, only one side of the ground is usually in use for spectators, this being the terracing at the Tryst Road end (west). In season 2004–05, a new roof was installed here, constructed by club volunteers. The former grass banking at the east end of Ochilview was removed some years ago, and the area has since been flattened and replaced with artificial pitches for community use.

Newton AFC

At Newtown the present Officials and Committee would like to think that the facilities at Mid Wales Leisure Latham Park and the playing structure illustrate what is good about the Welsh Football scene. The Club are involved in a continuous programme of improvements both on and off the field of play but know the base for this kind of development was set when the Club moved to the site in 1951. 

Over the years Newtown have had a number of homes but the Officials and General Committee of the late 1940’s took the decision to construct a new playing headquarters at the site which was named Latham Park. The reward for a great deal of community efforts was the opening of Latham Park in August 1951. The first competitive game took place on August 25th, 1951 when Newtown beat Aberystwyth in the Central Wales League 4 – 0 in front of 1,211 spectators.                                      

The ground capacity today is fixed at 5,000 and the original Stand has 210 seats with a further covered accommodation for approximately 500. A new 400 seater stand was completed during the 1997/98 season. The Officials are continually reviewing the programme of ground improvements with a quality playing surface always being seen as an important factor.

The ownership of the Ground is an asset many Clubs would wish to have and the far sighted and progressive policy of previous Committees at the Club is illustrated by this fact. Enhancing and expanding the changing facilities to accommodate youth and community involvement is another strand to the developments the Club have in mind.

The Club welcomes its visitors in the hope that they will return at some time again in the near future to enjoy the facilities and hospitality the Club offers. The club aims to create a regional centre facility which will regularly attract high profile games and be an asset for the local sporting community.


While the Scottish club already gained experiences with synthetic turf before, the Welsh club chose the pitch to ensure consistent conditions all year long.

Montrose Football Club and its generous donation

The Montrose Football Club in Scotland got a generous and valuable donation from a local company. £250,000 for a new all-weather pitch for the Links Park Stadium will help the club to reduce maintenance costs and fees for alternative training grounds. The donation will pay for about two thirds of the pitch’s cost, with the remainder coming from sports funding bodies and other local businesses. According to the club’s director of football the donation boosts the club’s five-year development plan. Schools and youth organisations do also benefit from this donation as they will get free access. 

Synthetic turf in Scotland

In January 2012, Scotland had a total of 3596 registered football clubs; with an estimated 296 full size synthetic pitches. Overall player participation has seen a 15% increase since 2004.

The photo seen above is the artificial turf pitch at Scottish club Stenhousemuir FC. In 2011 it received its 6th annual FIFA 2 Star certification. The general success and benefits of synthetic turf seen by football clubs in Scotland has prompted clubs in the English Football League to realize the long term, sustainable benefits an artificial turf pitch could bring to their clubs.

On the subject of synthetic pitch development, Cameron Watt, Facilities manager at the Scottish FA said, “We are currently in the response period of a ‘professional player and 3G perception’ survey that we are conducting in partnership with PFA Scotland. Finally and perhaps most importantly. The demands of the Scottish climate dictate that synthetic surfaces will be needed to support the ever increasing participation levels in our game. Full size is the priority.”

SPFL promotion challengers face March deadline to prove they are turf at the top

PROMOTION-chasing championship clubs who play on artificial turf will have to apply to the SPFL board by March 31 for special permission to use their surface in next season’s top flight.

Contenders Hamilton Accies and Falkirk, both of whom have spent large sums installing state-of-the-art synthetic pitches in recent seasons, are joined by Queen of the South and Alloa in the list of second-tier clubs who currently play on plastic, but the league governing body retains the right to veto their attempts to access the Premier League if their facilities are deemed unfit during an inspection.

All top flight matches in Scotland have been played on grass since Dunfermline Athletic were forced to tear up their artificial surface when the SPL ruled against its continued use in 2005.

“In respect of this season, the board gave a blanket ratification because – given the timescales – there simply wasn’t any alternative, prior to the merger, to doing that,” said SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster. “But ahead of next season any club who has a synthetic pitch and wants it to be available for use within the Premier League has to go through an application process.

“By March 31 they would have to apply to the board, and the board would set out the conditions as they deem fit,” he added. “Fifa two-star is the standard, and I believe they are all Fifa two-star, but the board can impose certain conditions in terms of how that pitch is looked after as well. Upkeep is one of a number of issues, but there is no limit to the conditions the board can set, it has never had to do it before.”

Hamilton and Falkirk are adamant, of course, that their pitches are more than adequate to grace the top flight. The Accies, who actually ripped up their previous artificial surface upon winning promotion to the top division, have now spent around £900,000 removing and relaying their surfaces over the last decade, while Falkirk director of football Alex Smith last night said the £400,000 state-of-the-art pitch at the Falkirk Stadium was bettered only by the facilities of Rangers and Celtic. Smith declared: “It is by far the best pitch in Scotland at the moment other than maybe the Old Firm, who have the facilities to keep their pitches in pristine condition. Our park is always perfect and we use it to play and to train. It’s better than grass because you don’t go over on your ankle, you don’t into wee ruts or trip over divots. The ball doesn’t bounce off awkward spots – it comes true to you.

“For a footballer it’s ideal – and it will get better. It will cope with any conditions other than heavy snow or a severe frost. No amount of water will affect it. In fact, a bit of water makes the ball move better.

“It’s a new league organisation but Fifa and Uefa both recognise this surface so I would think that if they approve then our league should too,” Smith added. “I would think they would find it difficult to tell us we are not getting in because of the surface we have.”

In a wider sense, championship clubs face a Hobson’s choice of sorts this summer, where failing to get promotion would at least carry the compensation of contesting next season with Hearts and Rangers in a beefed-up championship, but Smith for one feels there is no time like the present to win promotion.

“This is the year to get out of the league and if we could hit a run of form we are definitely capable of getting there,” said Smith. “Next year it’s obvious Rangers will come into it, it’s looking likely that Hearts will be in it and there is a fair chance that Dunfermline will join.

“So we would have six full houses there and maybe four of them would be televised, so it would be a great league to be part of financially. However, if you don’t get up this year then it could be two or three years before you get the chance again. We have been down for three years now and we wouldn’t want that. We want to get up now.”

Neil Doncaster and Alex Smith were speaking as the SFA, SPFL, Scottish football managers and coaches association, launched a new security and integrity hotline in conjunction with Crimestoppers, the independent charity organisation.

Taken from an article by Stewart Fisher, published in Heraldscotland on 19th January 2014


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TigerTurf installs specialist synthetic surface at University of Stirling

British manufacturer and ESTO member TigerTurf has recently installed a brand new sports pitch at the University of Stirling, in partnership with McArdle Sport-Tec Ltd., one of the UK’s longest standing sports surface contractors.

The surface, TigerTurf’s Total Turf 65XQ, is currently the UK’s leading multi 3G surface following its launch in 2012, with a guarantee of 20,000 playing hours. Originally designed for professional use, Total Turf 65XQ has proven very popular with schools, colleges and universities as a result of its high quality and testing in both rugby and football. The product offers many of the key benefits of synthetic turf including improved performance, durability and aesthetics, improved player comfort and limited maintenance requirements.

The project was first commissioned by the University of Stirling in June 2012, who cited specific performance characteristics in order to maximise and enhance players’ abilities as the main objective for the new surface.

Ian Graham, sports facilities manager at the University of Stirling confirms the positive feedback since the new pitch was installed: “The surface has been really well received by rugby, American Football and football players alike; it is already very well used and enables the University to provide students with a high performance, consistent and safe surface”.

The pitch is also FIFA 1 and 2 Star accredited, and meets IRB Regulation 22 and GAA standards in conjunction with the advised shock pads.

For more information on TigerTurf products, visit