GreenFields burns with ambition
Since 2010 GreenFields, the specialist in synthetic turf systems, has been involved in the downstream activities (marketing and installation) of the Grass group of TenCate. Thanks to this, the company has acquired far greater market coverage and is now among the top 10 suppliers of synthetic turf systems worldwide. GreenFields is ambitious. After acceptance of the GreenFields® MX synthetic turf system for football clubs in the Dutch premier and first divisions and GreenFields® TX for top-level hockey, sights are now set on entering and capturing the North American market.
Twenty-four national hockey teams will be playing on GreenFields® TX in June during the 2014 World Hockey Championships in The Hague. This hockey system made such an impression on the Dutch National Hockey Association last year that it decided to allow all the matches of the 2014 World Championships to be played on this synthetic turf system (and the same system installed in the practice fields of the national teams). This high-grade system is based on texturized synthetic grass fibres and backing from TenCate Grass. Through texturization – hence the addition TX – the synthetic grass fibres acquire greater volume and a permanent curl. What’s more, the fibres glitter less in the sun and the field has a dense even playing surface in all directions. This benefits the game and enables ball speeds of up to 165 km an hour.
The World Hockey Championships will be played in the Kyocera Stadium and the temporary GreenFields Stadium nearby. Each GreenFields® TX hockey field contains 12,000 kg of yarn originating from Ten Cate Thiolon bv in Nijverdal.
From TX to MX
At the moment there is another TenCate Evolution® synthetic turf system in the residence in the Kyocera Stadium for football. It took system supplier GreenFields, fibre manufacturer TenCate and building firm Heijmans barely two weeks to install this in October 2013. As Hugo de Vries well knows, there was initial resistance to a synthetic turf field but ‘experience has exceeded expectation’. The players are particularly positive about the quality and playability. Furthermore they can now train in their own stadium. The excellent cooperation of these three companies with both The Hague municipality and ADO Den Haag seems to herald a quick and successful installation of GreenFields® TX for the World Hockey Championships at the end of May. The three parties are expected to pull off this operation successfully too.
In the summer the hockey field will then be replaced by a 100% recyclable GreenFields® MX woven field. The old hockey and football fields will be reused by amateur clubs elsewhere.
Top hockey player Eva de Goede is the face of World Championship hockey field GreenFields® TX. For years she has been one of the most valued players of both her home club in Amsterdam and the Dutch national team. The central midfielder has good stamina and is as quick as lightning. According to Ed Donkers, global brand manager at GreenFields, with her attractive game Eva de Goede is ‘the ultimate advertisement for modern top hockey.’
To North America
From the beginning of the 2014 season sports systems from GreenFields will also be available in the United States and in Canada. The company has set up a network of experienced representatives and quality installers in readiness. Its own installation inspectors check the quality of every GreenFields sports system on site. The demands made on that side of the ocean differ in part from the practice in Europe. They are not always firmly stipulated. This applies for example to high school football. A field must have adequate shock absorption for falls to be comfortable, and heavily built players want a strong and stable system. As American football is a contact sport with many tackles, the damping capacity of the base course must be adequate and the grass must be strong.
GreenFields is striving for coast-to-coast coverage. ‘In each state we want to have a dedicated GreenFields representative,’ explains managing director Hugo de Vries. ‘TenCate can supply good products each time you build a system and a base course. The ultimate goal is to achieve synergy and come up with solutions for the substrate, water management and the synthetic turf field. When you have installers as partner who are certified and possibly trained by TenCate and who are able to build all the components, then you are capable of building the whole system and maintaining the field with just a small group. That’s the future for grass in general and for TenCate in particular.’