An effective way to prevent rain stopped play is becoming an increasingly hot topic of conversation within the sports community. The Telegraph recently reported that new experimental technology, intended to combat rain disruption, had attracted significant interest from the England & Wales Cricket Board who had to cancel 16 matches in this year’s Natwest Blast due to wet weather conditions. With high hopes pinned on the success of their new Twenty20 tournament, scheduled for August 2020, the ECB are acutely aware of the havoc rain could cause and are keen for the MCC to help partner any research that will lessen its impact.
Nigel Deacon, Sales Director at Streetspace Urban Structures, comments on the impact inclement weather has on some outdoor sports and how their recent partnership with the Southern Hemispheres premier shade and weather protection specialists will shape the future of all-weather sport in the UK.
An increasingly damp month
‘UK sport is big business yet I am surprised how little commercial focus has been given to remedying the havoc predictably brought by poor weather and bad light. With our ever-variable British climate, continuous hot spells and brightness have never been sporting certainties but now even August is becoming an increasingly damp month. How strange that, with rain and diminishing light guaranteed, more sporting establishments aren’t seeking a solution that could revolutionise how their members use their club and in the process generate a healthy return on their investment.’
Shrugging off the elements
‘Some sports enthusiasts are used to shrugging off the elements and are able to enjoy their sport in the harshest weather. Many are less fortunate. Cricketers and tennis players, for instance, are frequently prevented from using in-demand premium amenities for matches and training. While some sports clubs can counter weather with popular, purpose-built indoor facilities many offer a diverse range of sport across large outdoor recreational parks.’
Some startling statistics
‘I recently read an in depth presentation from the Lawn Tennis Association on the state of tennis in the UK and which revealed some startling statistics. In the UK 5 million adults play tennis at least once a year and 35% play once a month. There are 23,000 tennis courts spread across an array of parks, schools and leisure centres but over 50% of courts are in clubs and only 7% of these are covered. This compares unfavourably with France who have over a quarter of their club courts covered. While 1 in 3 UK club courts are flood lit, only 1 in 7 park courts are. 1 in 4 people do not know these courts exist and 50% of those think they are not up to standard.’
Community tennis networks
‘Imagine how robust and far-reaching our tennis offer could be in the UK if this untapped potential was realised and investment was available for the provision of well-lit, all-weather courts that could be booked all year round. I have some good news! Two funding streams are now available through the Lawn Tennis Association to assist in the creation of thriving community tennis networks, open to all and spread across Great Britain. The Lawn Tennis Associations, Transforming British Tennis Together and Growing The Game initiatives are collectively putting aside £125 million over the next 10 years with a further £125m in match-funding from local authorities, clubs and businesses. The funding round 1 submission deadline is October 31, 2017. You can read more about it here. So how exactly do Streetspace fit in?’
All-weather canopy sports solutions
‘We recently announced our partnership with the Southern Hemispheres premier shade and weather protection specialists; Greenline based in New South Wales, Australia and Shade Systems from Auckland, New Zealand. This is an exciting collaboration where our industry knowledge, creativity and enthusiasm will be strengthened by their technical expertise and experience which has helped deliver hundreds of winning sports canopy solutions over many decades. Together, I can confidently guarantee our innovative all-weather canopy solutions will be stunning to behold and provide daily, extended use of covered areas, regardless of weather conditions or daylight.’
If you would like to know more information about our all-weather sports canopy solutions please get in contact here and we will be happy to discuss your future plans.