Roermond Hockey Club Concordia, the oldest hockey club in Limburg, was founded in 1924 and today is a large club of around 700 members. The club initially had plans to have one hockey pitch replaced, but due to the damage caused by the July 2021 high water, the KNHB disapproved all pitches. From one day to the next, Concordia had to replace not one, but three pitches.
Steef Stevens is secretary of Stichting Hammerveld, the foundation that manages Concordia's facilities. In this interview, he talks about the route towards the construction of the new hockey pitches and about the choice for ProPlay, Schmitz Foam Products' shock pad.
"The shock pads are completely sustainable, as they are produced from foam residual material from the automotive industry, for example."
Steef Stevens on the durable ProPlay shock pad and his experience with Schmitz Foam Products.
Plans that fell apart
"One of our three hockey pitches was 30 years old and in need of replacement. So the plans to renew this pitch were already well underway when, in July 2021, the Meuse flooded. All our fields were completely flooded and the water stood up to two metres high. After the water was pumped out, the damage became visible. The high water had damaged all our pitches, including the two that were still in good condition. And when the KNHB rejected the pitches, we were forced to have all artificial turf pitches replaced."
Quest for the right choice
"During the orientation phase, our contractor presented nine different sports floors certified by the KNHB. Having three pitches replaced requires a huge investment. Initially, the choice did not fall on ProPlay. The reason was that the sports floor where ProPlay could be used was not within our budget. Nevertheless, we were keen to work with a local supplier and saw the advantages of ProPlay. Especially the sustainable aspect of the product was an important argument in our decision to invest in ProPlay. It was a godsend that our contractor -together with Schmitz Foam Products- ensured that the combination of ProPlay as a surface and Condor Grass as artificial grass was certified by the KNHB inspection body. This meant that artificial grass pitches with ProPlay from Roermond could still be laid on our sports park."
"ProPlay will take back the shock pads free of charge when they are no longer used for the original application."
Schmitz Foam Products lays the final shock pads on the third field of Concordia field hockey club.
ProPlay lasts several mats
"Besides the fact that the combination of ProPlay and Condor Grass was affordable to buy, there were more reasons to choose ProPlay shock pads. This is because a surface made of ProPlay shock pads has a guaranteed lifespan of 25 years and will therefore last for several turfs. This means that when the turf needs replacing, the shock pads can remain in place.
In addition, ProPlay takes the shock pads back free of charge when they are no longer used. This also weighed into our decision. After all, disposing of the other underlays turned out to be a big expense."
More subsidy thanks to recyclable shock pad
"Recycled shock pads are used again at ProPlay to make new products. The shock pads are completely sustainable, as they are produced from foam residual material from, for example, the automotive industry. This is foam that has not been sold or used, but meets all quality requirements. At Schmitz, this foam is given a second chance, instead of ending up in a landfill or incinerator. When a sports association uses such sustainable materials, it receives an additional 10% VAT refund through the Building and Maintenance of Sports Facilities Subsidy Scheme (BOSA). A nice windfall for our association."
Resistant to heavy equipment for annual maintenance
"We have our pitches thoroughly cleaned every year. This is done with a hefty tractor and lots of water. ProPlay's surface is quite thick and has a high density. This makes it resistant to the heavy equipment used to clean the pitches. Other sports surfaces are often less firm, which can cause problems when maintaining artificial grass pitches. In addition, the thickness and high density of the material ensure a longer lifespan."
"The substrate of ProPlay is quite thick and has a high density. This makes it resistant to heavy equipment."
ProPlay lasts several mats thanks to thickness and high density.
Satisfied with implementation
"The execution of the project went like a train. It was special to see that during construction, everyone from Schmitz Foam showed commitment. Even office staff came to watch the construction progress. The laying of the shock pads went very smoothly; the sheets were put together quickly and easily like puzzle pieces. Between January and June, all three pitches were replaced, especially in times of material and staff shortages, which I think is a very handsome achievement."
The end result: three beautiful new field hockey fields for Roermond field hockey club Concordia.