A first in Australian football was announced by Sydney’s Lane Cove Council with the construction of an environmentally sensitive synthetic football field set to take place at Bob Campbell Oval.
The project will be crucial in satisfying the impressive demand and use of football fields across metropolitan Sydney. A synthetic surface has the advantage of being able to absorb intensive and extensive use throughout all weather conditions, enabling more people to be more active more often.
The proposed surface is a fully woven product made of one polymer family (polyolefin). The woven construction results in the grass fibres and backing structure being produced as one combined product, with superior tuft lock and filament bind to traditional tufted grass. The final product will significantly reduce the likelihood of lost fibres migrating into the environment.
“This is a significant step forward in environmental performance and I’m pleased that Lane Cove Council will be kick-starting an Australian first,” Lane Cove Council Mayor, Pam Palmer stated.
“If our efforts enable a faster take up of this new technology, then it’s a win-win for the environment and the community.”
Ed Ferguson, Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Suburbs Football Association, was delighted by decision from the Lane Cove Council.
“We are excited to hear news of the installation of a synthetic field at Bob Campbell Oval. Local community football has grown by 1,200 players in 2021, now totalling 18,100 participants in the NSFA region which places more stress on our current facilities,” he said.
“The Bob Campbell Oval development will increase the capacity of the sports field meaning more players will be able to safely participate for more hours each week, not to mention the benefit towards local community users for their informal activities.
“I commend Lane Cove Council and Mayor Pam Palmer for diligently investigating how they can create a best practice field that services the community and mitigates environmental concerns. NSFA and our members are proud to be aligned with a council that takes this approach.
“The field will provide a suitable home for Greenwich Sports Club who have the largest female player representation in the region of 50%. Ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in just over two years we anticipate this trend to continue, meaning Greenwich can continue to be a home of female football participation.”
Football NSW CEO Stuart Hodge acknowledged how the installation of the pitch aligned with the state’s footballing body’s goals.
“The proposed synthetic field directly relates to the NSW Football Infrastructure Strategy and the key pillar, ‘improve existing venue capacity’. Maximising the carrying capacity and activation of existing football grounds and venues is a key objective of the strategy as football continues to grow particularly post COVID-19,” he said.
“Infrastructure developments such as Bob Campbell Oval not only enable growth in the game, but they also enable broader community development. Ensuring communities have adequate spaces where people can actively and safely engage in sport and recreation can provide improved social, health, educational and cultural outcomes for all.”