Olympic Hockey Gold and Bronze medallist Helen Richardson-Walsh recently joined the Mayor of Brighton & Hove Councillor Dee Simson for the official opening of the superb new Roedean School hockey pitch constructed by S&C Slatter.
Helen, who along with her wife Kate, is a Sports Ambassador for the School, performed the time-honoured tradition of ‘cutting the ribbon’ and used the opportunity to encourage the pupils to take full advantage of the opportunity to practice and play on such a facility. She said that in her experience ‘it really will make a difference’.
The new pitch has been fittingly titled ‘Pitch Perfect’ by the school and is referred to as such on the Donors Board which the Mayor unveiled as part of the ceremony. It has been certified to the FIH National Performance Standard and features a FieldTurf Hockey Gold Elite artificial turf playing surface.
Great sensitivity and imagination were necessary in developing the design and construction specifications due to the technical challenge of the sloping cliff top location and the need to minimise any visual impact on the local environment. The solution developed by S&C Slatter focussed on an extensive cut and fill operation with a series of retaining walls creating construction footprints inset and modelled into the hillside.
Despite the huge amount of excavated material generated by the process, all was retained and re-used on site in accordance with the parameters set by the school and planning authority. This entirely removed the need for costly and disruptive disposal.
However, the hockey pitch is just part of a wider development completed by S&C Slatter which also included the complete refurbishment of the tennis court complex, the creation of a new natural grass sports pitch and the building of a formal tarmacadam car park and access road. A network of new pathways, transitions and hard standings have been formed to link all these elements.
The end result of the project is an outstanding and highly practical asset for the school.