Work is well underway at Dalgety Bay Leisure Centre in Scotland, where the existing artificial football pitch is being replaced and significantly upgraded by the experts in sports facility construction, Doe Sport (North) Ltd.
Craig Mitchell from Doe (on the left in our main picture) took time out from an early November progress inspection to brief a delegation from Fife Council, the local authority. Craig was joined at the controls by councillor Mark Hood, who has special responsibility within the Council for sports facilities; and on the right by Ed Watson, the chief executive of Fife Leisure, the stand-alone operation that manages leisure facilities throughout the region.
Doe has a long-standing client relationship with Fife Council, having worked on significant community projects for over a decade. The original pitch at the leisure centre was also installed by Doe, back in 2002, said Craig, as work progressed on preparing the site for the new surface. “It was actually the first full-sized pitch that Doe completed in Scotland,” he said. “After serving the community so well for so long, we’re delighted to be invited back by Fife Council, to see that Dalgety Bay has the latest sports surface available, and which will see action for at least another generation too.”
The soon to be installed pitch is a brand new FieldTurf Vertex, which sounds hi-tech for a very good reason … it is. Quite apart from the added benefits of durability and lower maintenance overheads - the FieldTurf Vertex looks and feels like a natural surface, and plays like a well tended pitch, day after day.
Playing surface technology has moved on since the turn of the century, and the new installation will provide an even better playing environment for a variety of field sports, for all levels of ability, and a great space for community leisure activities. Even professional players would feel right at home on the 106 x 70m playing surface, which meets all the right standards and criteria.
Ed Watson, the chief executive of Fife Leisure, said the team from Doe were making excellent progress on an asset for the whole community. “Getting along here while the site was still at the foundation level let us see that the high construction standards run right through the project,” he said.
Construction standards may have slipped a little when the senior operator invited Councillor Mark Hood to take control of the massive mechanical shovel. Mark was delighted to try out the cab for size. After looking at the bewildering array of controls, he stepped back down, full of a new respect for the skilled operators.
Still wearing his high-visibility Doe vest and hard hat, Councillor Mark Hood said it was a great start already. “It was good to be briefed by Craig on what’s happening next, and how all the processes knit together to make this a really first class facility.”
Joined by Billy, the leisure centre manager, Craig Mitchell gave an expert site demonstration of the latest advances in sports field technology. He explained how the FieldTurf Vertex surface destined for Dalgety Bay will be able to fulfil the technical parameters for both the world football body FIFA and their rugby equivalent, the International Rugby Board (IRB). “The FieldTurf Vertex systems have the highest level of certifications for football and rugby at both amateur and elite levels,” he said.
“The unique combination of fibres in each stitch provides reduced ball splash, improved infill encapsulation and optimal ball roll,” Craig explained. “That scientific approach means on match day you get a really great game, every time you run out on the pitch. We’re proud at Doe to provide a community facility with one of the most innovative systems available.”
At the time of the visit, the old surface had already been removed and the life-expired substrate was ready for remediation and recycling. Councillor Mark Hood said there was plenty of anticipation. “I know everyone is looking forward to completion later this year.”
They won’t have to wait too much longer. With favourable weather conditions, the new pitch should be fully installed in time for Christmas - an active and up to date present for Dalgety Bay..