World’s first IRB/FIFA approved dual use pitch

Maidenhead Rugby Union Football Club (MRUFC) is to become the home of the very first new ‘One Turf’ pitch. This is the new global specification for dual use pitches which has been approved by both the IRB and FIFA and delivers the best possible playing surface for both sports.

In November 2009 the IRB and FIFA reached a “Memorandum of Understanding” to research and develop a common “One Turf” synthetic product suitable for both sports which would require the IRB to lower their current 65mm minimum pile height requirement to that of FIFA at 60mm. In May 2012 the IRB, following further detailed research and a significant testing programme approved a change to their Regulation 22 Performance Specification to allow for a 60mm pile height in line with FIFA. GreenFields being a IRB preferred turf producer (PTP) and a FIFA preferred producer (FPP) have proudly researched and developed systems in line with these changes and are now able to deliver the very first innovative first class “One Turf” dual purpose pitch at Maidenhead RFC. Steve Griffiths – Head of Technical Services at the International Rugby Board (IRB) stated: ” The IRB welcomes this initiative at Maidenhead as it reinforces the One Turf concept which supports multi sport usage of high quality surfaces through installations by IRB Preferred Turf Producers”.

Practical for amateurs, perfect for elite

With 19 separate teams including youth, juniors, colts, ladies, senior and veterans, Maidenhead RFC has a very high demand for facilities. Artificial turf can deliver an excellent durable surface that ensures training can take place through the wet winter months. This “One Turf” dual-purpose versatility ensures the pitch is utilised to its maximum capacity throughout the year.

Partnership delivers results

GreenFields are delivering this global first as a selected partner of the RFU (Rugby Football Union)/ FA / FF Framework Agreement under Robinson Low Francis (RLF) management. The Framework concept was established to initiate and fund exactly this type of project. GreenFields’ operating ethos is driven towards delivery of high quality sports facilities, be they facilities for elite athletes or grassroots future generations. Working closely with their strategic construction partner S&C Slatter Ltd has delivered a succession of completed high profile, high quality artificial turf sports pitches. Maidenhead RFC’s new pitch is set to become the next successful project in the GreenFields/S&C Slatter partnership.

Cllr Simon Dudley, the Royal Borough’s cabinet member for adult and community services, said: “This is a brilliant project and a great legacy for the Olympic year. The pitch will enable many more teams to practise on the Braywick site, allowing greater involvement in the sport by people of all ages and abilities.” Cllr Dudley thanked the RFU for its generous contribution towards the cost. He added: “This is a partnership venture that will bring tremendous benefits to rugby in the Royal Borough.”

The £575,000 scheme is funded by the RFU’s Capital Investment Programme and the Royal Borough through developer contributions. The RFU’s CIP is the capital funding element of the RFU’s Whole Sport Plan funding allocation secured from government. Responsibility for delivery is in the hands of each national governing body, with targets agreed on a sport-by-sport basis. Dave Stubley, the RFU’s South West Funding and Facilities, added: “This is an exciting partnership between the RFU, the council and Maidenhead RFC and will provide great and increased opportunities for rugby development, the club and the wider community”.

Maidenhead, England, Wednesday 20 June 2012