Modern MUGAs

Modern MUGAs: the solution for schools with limited space

This year school children across the UK have been enthralled by the messages of the Olympic Legacy. They have enjoyed school visits by Olympic athletes, a summer of spectacular sporting competition, and numerous initiatives such as Wastebuster, which provides schools with new sporting equipment to encourage pupils to get out there and get fit.

However, anyone interested in sports and education will have been following the news as the Government approves the selling off of school playing fields. What’s more, alarm over rapidly growing school intake numbers highlights the challenge of serving more children where site space is limited.

However there is a solution that can help schools to accommodate a rich variety of sports even when space is at a premium and admission figures are high. A Multi Use Games Area is a popular choice for schools, academies and even universities looking to deliver multiple sporting facilities within a confined space. There are other advantages too, such as the ability to use your MUGA to generate additional income for your institution.

What are the advantages of installing a MUGA in a school?

The most obvious advantage of Multi Use Games Areas is their adaptability. Depending on the type of MUGA you choose your court or playing field can accommodate all manner of sports – from acting as a tennis court or netball court to handling football, rugby, hockey and other outdoor and team sports. Plus porous asphalt and polymeric MUGA surfaces can both accommodate wheelchair sports, ensuring that schools are able to be inclusive in their sporting curriculum.

MUGAs are highly flexible to indoor or outdoor positioning and by their nature are tough, easily maintained and cost-effective with an impressive life span. An existing plot of land, section of a playground or underused sports hall can all be adapted to function as a MUGA, meaning that any school or academy can make clever use of the space available whilst transforming sporting opportunities within their curriculum.

Which type of MUGA is suitable for my site?

There are 5 types of MUGA, as categorised by Sport England in their Guide to the Design, Specification and Construction of Multi Use Games Areas. Types 1 to 3 are designed to accommodate ball rebound sports including tennis, netball and basketball. These MUGAs typically feature asphalt or polymeric surfaces for weather and slip resistance.

Type 4 and 5 MUGAs, on the other hand, are geared up to cope with team and contact sports including 5-a-side football, lacrosse, rugby and general athletic training. Typically these are finished with a sand filled synthetic surface or needle punched synthetic turf for optimum performance. However the greater degree of shock absorbency in these surfaces means type 4 and 5 MUGAs are not such a good choice if you’re looking for an emphasis on tennis, netball or other sports requiring a degree of ball rebound performance.

How can I maximise use of my school’s MUGA?

A MUGA is a sound investment for any school prioritising sports – and can offer extra advantages too. The most obvious is the potential for generating additional funding for school activities by hiring out the facility. Many schools offer evening and weekend facilities hire across their sites – but because MUGAs are so versatile you can maximise the opportunity.

Across every sports your MUGA can accommodate there’s the opportunity to attract local clubs and community groups looking for a cost-effective option to train and hold tournaments. Our article on how to generate income through your multi use games area tells you everything you need to know to start turning your MUGA into a viable commercial opportunity for the benefit of your school’s budget.

What’s involved in installing a MUGA?

Like any other construction work installing a MUGA involves some disruption on site – but with the right contractors and the right approach it will be an effort that pays off for decades to come. However it’s vital to get the advice of experts to ensure you make the right decisions in everything from your MUGA’s surface to its perimeter fencing, drainage, maintenance and safety.

ETC Sports Surfaces Limited are specialists in multi use games areas and sports surfaces for schools, colleges and academies. We offer a wide range of surfaces, fencing and accessory options – all available with full installation, testing and maintenance to make sure your MUGA is up to its tough job.