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Hybrid Pitch Brings New Life To Sporting Field

In a first for Sutherland Shire, Harrie Dening Football Centre at Kareela is trialling a new hybrid turf that will provide a consistent playing surface all year round.

The hybrid surface consists of synthetic grass that is stitched into natural turf and has proven to increase stability and deliver considerably more playing hours than traditional grass fields. This is especially important for high-traffic areas like goal mouths and cricket pitches.

Sutherland Shire Council is collaborating with Sutherland Shire Football Association to trial the hybrid grass system on one of the lower field goal areas.

Hybrid grass playing fields not only stay healthier for longer, they also hold less heat than full synthetic pitches. This means greater availability to the community, especially during the hot summer months. As an added bonus, maintenance costs of the hybrid fields are also significantly lower than full synthetic facilities.

Sutherland Shire Council Mayor, Councillor Carmelo Pesce said this new hybrid grass system would mean that more games could be played on the field, increasing the field use capacity without as much damage to the grass.

“Sport is such a strong part of our local identity and with increasing demand placed on our playing fields, Council is committed to supporting the continued use of our parks and reserves to meet the needs of our growing population,” Mayor Pesce said.

“We have already been working hard to help our playing fields stand up to the pressure by planting stronger types of grass, utilising better maintenance practices and installing irrigation systems and this new hybrid system should be incredibly beneficial.

“By bringing together synthetic and natural turf, sporting fields will be able to withstand considerably more playing hours each year and recovery time for the grass will be much faster,” Mayor Pesce added.

Sutherland Shire Football Association (SSFA) General Manager, Jeff Stewart said that the SSFA was extremely happy to work collaboratively with Council to trial this initiative.
“As the largest grassroots sporting association, with the highest per capita usage rate per field of any sport in the nation we know all too well how much time and effort is required to maintain the fields at an acceptable standard,” Mr Stewart said.

“We are thankful that Council has looked at viable alternatives to help manage and maintain the existing available green space and Harrie Dening Centre is an ideal location for this product to be trialled.”

Stephen Mallyon, General Manager of G5 Sports Turf, who installed the hybrid turf system, said it has been used across Europe on FIFA and World Rugby approved pitches and he was excited to bring the technology to the Sutherland Shire.

“We have installed SISGrass hybrid cricket pitches on wickets in Brisbane at the Bupa National Cricket Centre for Cricket Australia and QLD Cricket and Adelaide again for Cricket Australia and the South Australian Cricket Association, and also on playing fields at the Sydney Cricket Ground and Sydney University with great success,” Mr Mallyon said.

“SIS Grass has recently been endorsed by ICC, Cricket Australia and the International Hockey Federation and we congratulate Sutherland Shire Council for being the first Council in Australia to trial the system.”

Sutherland Shire Council will monitor the hours of usage and wear on the field with the vision of using hybrid grass systems on other playing fields in the future.

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Sydney FC members to pick and choose membership packs in 2021/22

Sydney FC has introduced an Aussie-first membership platform, with members to gain more control over the customisation of their membership packs.

Sydney FC has introduced an Australian-first membership platform, with members to gain more control over the customisation of their membership packs.

The club and its membership products provider, TPF Sports, will greatly increase member satisfaction and reduce environmental impact. Sydney FC members who sign up for the 2021/22 season will have credits put onto their accounts, allowing them to choose from a variety of Membership card designs and, depending on their package, a variety of personalised items.

Each merchandising item may be customised with different colours and names, allowing for unique bundles based on age, gender, product choice, artwork style, personalisation, years of tender, and a variety of other factors.

Sydney FC Chief Executive Officer Danny Townsend hailed the announcement as a big step forward for how the club engages with its members.

“Our new eMber+ platform is a huge step forward and once again Sydney FC is proud to be leading the way in Member engagement,” he said via a club statement,” he said.

“Gone are the days of receiving the same standard Membership pack as everyone else.

“Now you can tailor your package to suit your preferences and how you wish to support the Sky Blues.

“There’s a fantastic range of customisable merchandise available and I know I’m looking forward to my delivery in the coming weeks.”

TPF Sports Director Craig Dyer explains the move is a worldwide first and one of the benefits of the move would be the reduced environmental impact of membership packs, thanks largely in part to the fact that members will only receive merchandise they actually want.

“There are iterations of loyalty and rewards platforms globally,” he said.

“But to the best of our knowledge from 18 to 20 months of development and research, we believe this is the first-ever platform of its kind and certainly the first for sport and membership-based programs.

“Our vision in developing the platform is to revolutionise the long-standing pre-determined assignment of resources to Members by assigning credit. This allows them to redeem merchandise and entitlements they deem relevant to them.

“This platform also has a strong environmental slant, as we are only supplying merchandise and delivering this merchandise to Members who want to redeem it.

“Additionally, almost every product is on-demand, meaning we receive Members’ selection based on products and artwork, print them with selected artwork and personalisation, pick, pack and fulfil directly to the Members door.”

Football NSW grants webinar to aid clubs and associations

FNSW

Football NSW in conjunction with ‘The Grants Guy’ are set to premiere a free Grants Zoom online webinar next Wednesday (September 22) at 6:30pm – 7:30pm.

FNSW clubs and associations will be provided with valuable information through the grants webinar, especially for applying for funding which have assisted many teams in the past in their pursuit of seeking facility upgrades amongst various other beneficial elements.

The webinar will provide a practical guide to grant writing for any football club seeking to attain funding by applying for the Greater Cities Sport Facility Fund and the Regional Sport Facility Fund in particular.

Both grants will be explained through the practical step by step webinar, and guidance will be provided as to how to apply for the Grants.

The following topics will be discussed:

  • How to apply for the grant – the do’s and don’ts
  • Eligibility & Answering the Question
  • Project Assessment, Evaluation, Rationale, Methodology
  • Budget & Acquittal
  • Getting Grant Ready and Planning your Club’s Application

For the Greater Cities and Regional Sport Facility Fund, the second and final round of the $100 million grant is available, with grants of up to $1 million offered to sport and recreation organisations and councils.

In Round 2, up to $46 million is available for projects that improve sports facilities and recreational spaces and enable more people to participate in sport and active recreation.

Grants from $100,000 up to $1 million are available for a range of projects including lighting, amenity buildings, clubrooms, change rooms and grandstands.

Round 1 resulted in $54 million awarded for 91 projects, with over $10 million awarded to football projects.

Round 2 is the final round of the program with applications closing at 12pm, on October 8, 2021.

Register for the webinar today by clicking here.

For any further questions please contact Football NSW’s Government Relation, Infrastructure and Funding Manager Daniel Ristic via email on danielr@footballfacilities.com.au.

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