30th Jun 2022
Following a successful planning application from our dedicated in-house design & planning team, S&C Slatter was thrilled to continue working with King’s House School to construct the newly approved sports facilities and a car park extension at their impressive sports ground.
With an extensive multi-sport site at a stunning riverside location in Chiswick, King’s House School Sports Ground boasts sports facilities that many professional clubs would be envious of. Operating both as a sports ground for the school itself, as well as local clubs and 10 other independent and state schools in the local area, King’s House Sports Ground balances the needs of its pupils with the commercial aspect of its 35-acre site.
When clearing wasteland in a corner of the site next to an unused former bowls green and tennis courts, the school uncovered a vast amount of space ripe for development. With several natural turf pitches for rugby, cricket and football already on site, as well as tennis courts and a 3G pitch, the school wanted to use the space to introduce new sports to the ground, expanding their already exceptional offering.
So what surface would be best? Thankfully for the school, their Commercial Operations Manager, Natalie Wray, who oversees the management of the facility, knows a thing or two about sport, as a national league hockey player herself.
Natalie was already aware of Gen 2 facilities – the International Hockey Federation (FIH)’s initiative in partnership with England Hockey, England Netball and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA). When the design specification for the pitch was produced, it was clear that a Gen 2 surface would allow for the play of several sports on one surface – perfect for the school’s goal of maximising capacity and revenue opportunity.
One full-sized hockey pitch with a sand-dressed Gen-2 surface would allow for full-sided hockey year-round, while semi-permanent markings could be utilised to offer several tennis, netball and mini-cricket facilities on the same pitch, mixed and matched based on the school term.
“Typically, it’s used for netball from September to December, Hockey from January to April, and then during the summer term, we’re using it for tennis and mini cricket (using roll-down mats to protect the pitch from the bats!). It maximises income.“
– Natalie Wray, Commercial Operations Manager, King’s House School Sports Ground
Learn more in our case study.
Also endorsed by Sport England, the European Hockey Federation and the International Tennis Federation, Gen 2 was developed when: “governing bodies from across the world of sport joined forces to create an innovative new playing surface that can be used for hockey, netball, tennis, small-sided football, futsal, lacrosse and more.”
When communicating with other clubs and schools, Natalie explained that the terminology can be challenging and, as a relatively new initiative, it wasn’t clear, to begin with, just what quality a Gen 2 pitch could deliver.
“When we originally put the proposal together, we expected it to be lower league teams playing on the pitch, yet both London Wayfarers Hockey Club first teams – national league teams – are using this facility as their home pitch. So not only is it emphasising that this type of surface [Gen 2] can be used for a whole range of different sports, but it can still be used to host national league-level sports, which is amazing and testament to the quality of the pitch type.”
– Natalie Wray, Commercial Operations Manager, King’s House Sports Ground.
With small-sided football and lacrosse also played on site, we’re thrilled to see how just one Gen 2 pitched has transformed the available sports on offer at King’s House Sports Ground.
Learn more about the new Gen 2 pitch, as well as the 4-lane cricket facility and car park extension in our case study.
With dedicated in-house teams, benefit from a seamless experience with one point of contact from design and planning through to completion and aftercare.
Talk to us today to discuss the design, planning, finance, construction and aftercare of your sports facilities.