In with the new, with Sport & Play

Sponsored: Sport & Play reveals how they transformed sports facilities at two independent schools

Radley College Sports Centre 

Sport & Play was selected to replace worn cricket nets and provide new divider curtains and storage bags by Radley College, which was bowled over by the company’s knowledgeable and flexible approach.

Founded in 1847, Radley College is an independent boarding school for boys located in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Renowned for its world class sporting facilities, Radley’s cricket tradition is a strong one with England captains Ted Dexter and Andrew Strauss among a number of Old Radleians who have gone on to play the game professionally.

In 1985, Radley built a dedicated sports centre, whose facilities include a 25m swimming pool with adjoining 3.5m diving pit, fitness suite, weights room, sports hall, five squash courts, real tennis court and gymnasium. The centre is used not only by the college students but is also available for hire by local sports teams, plus offered as a leisure club to individual members. The sports hall is used daily for cricket practice and, whilst the college had constantly refurbished and upgraded the apparatus, its original cricket nets were finally showing signs of wear after 30 years’ continuous use.

Having previous experience of working with Sport & Play, Radley College’s Head of Sports Centre, Les Newell, invited the company to quote to supply and install new cricket nets, divider curtains and storage bags.

“I had always been very satisfied with Sport & Play’s service,” explained Les, “However, when they came in to quote for this project, I was especially impressed with how knowledgeable they were and the hints and tips they were happy to give. They were very flexible in their approach and nothing proved a problem for them.”

Sport & Play will provide ongoing inspections and servicing for the cricket nets, ensuring their condition is maintained and continues to be safe for use by Radley’s pupils and visitors alike.

Forest School London

At Forest School London (pictured above), Sport & Play ripped out their old vinyl floor and replaced with a floor called Pulastic which is a made up of 9mm rubber and 2mm polyurethane top layer.

The reasons for this were:

 – Elasticity in the polyurethane allowing mechanical loads, chairs, tables and bleacher seating

 – Matt finish not gloss so no glare from the lights

 – 80% recycled tyres so good for the environment

 – No costly refurbishment unlike timber floors

 – Many colours to choose from – you can also paint different courts in different colours

“Due to the growing pupil numbers at Forest School it was becoming apparent that we had no central space in order to hold full school assemblies. Our other venues were also becoming inadequate to support the growing popularity of pupil-lead concerts and performances. During 2016, we tendered for companies to refurbish our sports hall to make it multi-functional whilst retaining the fantastic standards of sport that have become accustomed to Forest. We chose Sport & Play as they were able to offer confidence and reassurance on a challenging fit that needed to meet many objectives,” said Wayne Bishop, Estates Manager at Forest School London.

“The flooring had to be good quality for a multitude of sports yet hold the weight of a retractable flooring system that was going to be used at least three times a week,” continued Wayne. “The acoustic panelling was updated and a state-of-the-art audio-visual system installed. Three years on and the hall is being used as we wished. It is a great environment for an array of events but importantly maintains its sports-hall feel. We were so impressed with Sport & Play that we now retain them to service all our sports equipment and maintenance. The communication through the project was superb and they stuck to the project plan that is often so difficult with many contractors involved.”

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