Multi use games areas for schools: our latest major upgrade is complete!

When installing multi use games areas, for schools the logistics are often challenging. Limited space, tight budgets, and balancing the role of sports in the overall curriculum are all considerations. But, for Sandringham School in Hertfordshire, maintaining outstanding sporting facilities is an educational headline. This OFSTED ‘outstanding’ rated school offers a rich, value-adding curriculum to support its philosophy that “everybody can be somebody”. And providing extensive sporting opportunities is a key part of that. In fact, the School Games Scheme has awarded Sandringham School a Platinum Mark in recognition of its commitment to sports.

When we first connected with Sandringham School, the site already offered impressive sporting facilities. They included a 3G pitch, swimming pool, gym, fitness centre, plus tennis, netball, and rugby pitches. But the ambitions didn’t stop there. Leadership wanted to resurface and extend the existing tennis and netball courts to form a new, even better multi use games area for schools’ sports. Plus, they wanted to install a new athletics track. Naturally, we were delighted to win the competitive tender for this major project.

Resurfacing and extending the current multi use games area for schools’ students to enjoy

In cooperation with Property Tectonics Architects, we began work in August 2022. We resurfaced the six existing netball and tennis courts with asphalt, as well as extending the block to add two additional courts. Together, the eight courts form a new multi use games area where more than one sport can be played on the same surface.

For all of the MUGA’s surfaces, we helped the client to choose a 6mm Supersport® MUGA surface supplied by Aggregate Industries. Hardwearing, durable, and porous, this surface meets all SAPCA requirements as well as the BS EN 13108 standard. This makes it an ideal solution for multi use games areas for schools experiencing particularly heavy all-year-round play. We finished the courts with Duo Sports double wire panel MUGA fencing, supplied by our friends at Zaun, plus pitch dividers and equipment to make the courts as flexible as possible.

We then moved on to the construction of a brand new, 100 metre four lane running track with a polymeric surface, making excellent use of an empty section of land. The track markings were designed so that it can also be used for hurdling and sprinting, creating new opportunities for students to try out their talent for a variety of athletics. Unusually, the client asked us to move away from the traditional terracotta finish and instead spray both the track and the new MUGAs in a striking bold blue. We think the finished result looks fantastic! But this stage of the project presented us with an unusual challenge.

Completing and finishing MUGAs when the weather won’t play ball

Ensuring a spot-on polymeric finish requires dry conditions to allow the surface to set perfectly. We completed all practical works, asphalt court surfacing and MUGA fencing for this client by early October – an impressive turnaround of just under ten weeks. But, by this time of year, damp conditions risked the integrity of both the MUGA’s final colour spray and the athletics track’s final polymeric surface. Although ETC Sports Surfaces’ workmen always go above and beyond for our clients, the one thing we can’t control is the UK’s notoriously wet weather!

Of course, multi use games areas for schools tend to be used all year, and we knew that the new asphalt courts could be played on safely while waiting for their colour spray. Athletics, on the other hands, is generally a summer sport. So, we advised our client that the most efficient solution would be to return in late spring to apply the track’s final polymeric surface before colour spraying both the track and the courts. In this way, students could enjoy the MUGAs immediately, while the running track would be complete for the start of the athletics season. Plus, by tackling all finishing jobs at the same time, on-site disruption onsite would be minimised.  At ETC Sports Surfaces, our priority is to always deliver guaranteed workmanship and leave the client 100% delighted – and we knew that this schedule would achieve that.

The result is a brand new, SAPCA compliant running and athletics track plus a state of the art, significantly extended multi use games area. For schools like Sandringham, these facilities offer fantastic sporting opportunities for every student, both within PE lessons and as part of the extra curriculum. Plus, they play an important role as a training facility for competitive play. Sandringham’s students perform highly at District, County, Regional and National level, as well as in regular international tours. It all starts on-site, with the chance to train on cutting edge pitches and MUGAs, plus the new athletics track. We are very proud to have been selected to deliver this important programme of major upgrade work. The client tells us that they are extremely happy with our workmanship and the finished result. We wish Sandringham School and all its students many years of enjoyment using the new sporting facilities!

Find out more about multi use games areas for schools, clubs and community facilities

Learn all about the benefits of MUGAs.

Explore our options for pitch and MUGA fencing.

Find out more about asphalt and polymeric surfaces.

Or, simply contact ETC Sports Surfaces for free help, advice and a site survey where needed.

Connect with our project partners:

Sandringham School: @SandringhamSch1

Aggregate Industries: @AggregateUK

Zaun Limited: @zaunlimited

Accreditation: @sapca