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Rugby 65 - Burnham Grammar School

14/02/2006
The pitch is a a fantastic and great facility. -- Jeremy Guscott, Former British Lions and England Rugby star

Leading synthetic sports surfacing manufacturer TigerTurf are seemingly unstoppable as they score one more success at the launch of their new Burnham-based rugby pitch, believed to be the largest of it's kind in the UK.

TigerTurf teamed up with Spade Oak Duracourt in a winning combination that has seen the 9000sqm pitch set to become a centre of excellence for rugby in the south east, and a pivotal point of interest for the RFU. And the launch of this prestigious project went phenomenally well in true TigerTurf style, as former British Lions and England Rugby star Jeremy Guscott MBE officially opened the pitch at Burnham Grammar school, heralding the start of a new sporting era for it's pupils and the community alike...

The Buckinghamshire-based Grammar School boasts a history of sporting success particularly in the remit of rugby where both male and female pupils have been playing the game for nine years. The fact that their two existing grass pitches are built on the local clay soil entailed disruptions to invaluable training time due to winter weather conditions. The solution, therefore, an all-weather artificial rugby pitch which although largely lottery-funded with an NOF3 grant, also received significant financial backing from community sponsorship.

Buckinghamshire County Council ensured that Burnham got only the best through enlisting TigerTurf to provide its top quality R 65 rugby surface, and Spade Oak Duracourt to expertly install it, at a contract value of approximately £500,000. TigerTurf, already renowned for revolutionising artificial turf technology, developed its specialist R 65 surface with high-level rugby and football in mind.

The product is made from a low-abrasion index polyethylene yarn, whilst the 65mm fibre pile height accommodates sufficiently large quantities of stabilising sand and shock-absorbing rubber infill. Used in conjunction with a shockpad for added support the system meets the stringent requirements of both the FA and RFU, as well as those of IRB Regulation 22.

It was, therefore, fitting that one of England's most capped players, Jeremy Guscott or "Prince of the Centres”, was on hand to officially open the pitch and give it his special seal of approval. Furthermore, the sporting hero, who scored the British Lions'winning drop goal during the decisive second test in 1997, commented that he would have liked the opportunity to play on a TigerTurf rugby pitch during his heyday. He went on to describe the pitch as "a fantastic and great facility” and lauded it as being far safer than normal natural surfaces.

The day proceeded from strength to strength with Burnham Grammar School's football and rugby teams proudly providing exhibition matches on their new pitch whilst a fifty-strong group of guests looked on. The general consensus from attending consultants, sports governing bodies and local schools and clubs, was that the pitch would actively promote increased sports participation from pupils and the community at large. In the words of Guscott himself the facility signifies ?a massive step forward for sports development in the area”. And his expert opinion was echoed in world-renowned rugby correspondent Stephen Jones' article in the Sunday Times in which TigerTurf's pitch was pronounced as "truly fantastic”...

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