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Turf system laid at Youth Sports Ground at Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Sports Park

Turf system laid at Youth Sports Ground at Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Sports Park
June 7, 2024

With Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Sports Park set to open in the first half of 2025, the developers of the precinct have advised that the Youth Sports Ground is approaching completion with the meticulous turf-laying work at the venue now finalised.

Gearing up to become Hong Kong's largest and most comprehensive sporting and recreation complex, the Kai Tak Youth Sports Ground - with a capacity of approximately 5,000 spectators - will be a centrepiece of the project.

Intended to serve as a hub for various sports associations, academic institutions and other stakeholder groups to promote sports development across Hong Kong, the Kai Tak Youth Sports Ground will also offer time slots for community athletics, further enhancing accessibility and enabling residents to embrace active lifestyles.

The turf laying project at the Kai Tak Youth Sports Ground is the first public sports ground in Hong Kong to adopt ‘Lay and Play’ technology - widely used internationally - meeting various international standards such as those set by the World Rugby and FIFA. The turf was first planted in Zhuhai and transported to the Youth Sports Ground on the same day of harvesting. Under the turf system, multiple structures such as rapid drainage and automatic sprinklers are installed to ensure healthy turf growth. This not only enhances the environmental efficiency of the park but also caters to the needs of various sports events and community activities.

Innovative ‘Carpet Hybrid’ and ‘Lay and Play’ Turf Technologies Elevate Flexibility and Quality at Kai Tak Youth Sports Ground
The turf laid at the Kai Tak Youth Sports Ground was cultivated in a 10,000 metre² turf nursery site located in Zhuhai. It is a ‘Carpet Hybrid’ root-zone reinforcement system, also known as ‘Hybrid Turf’. Once the hybrid turf carpet is laid, the fibres are carefully brushed until fully upright, while the 40mm thick of planting sand is applied. The turf was then planted into the sand via the sprigging method and matured over a period of 10 to 12 weeks. The mature turf was then harvested into rolls in five days, with each roll measuring 1.2 metres wide and 10 metres long, totalling approximately 650 rolls of turf. To ensure high turf quality, the harvesting took place in the early morning, and the turf was immediately transported to Hong Kong via trucks for installation.

Commenting on this process, Daniel Fan, Operations Manager of Kai Tak Sports Park advised “the turf is a core facility of professional sports venues.

“The Kai Tak Youth Sports Ground has adopted ‘Lay and Play’ technology which is already widely used in many top European league stadiums, including Anfield Stadium, London Stadium and Wembley Stadium.

“The turf system is like a carpet with natural and artificial grass fibres attached to it.

“After the carpet is laid, it only requires filling with a layer of lightweight planting sand planting sand, and simple grooming to stand upright, ensuring it is readily available for use in sporting events.

“This innovative technology is not only efficient in establishing a high-quality playing surface instantly but also eliminates the lengthy planting process, making turf care and maintenance more flexible.”

Optimal Grass Variety for Hong Kong’s Climate to Enhance Athlete Performance
Kai Tak Sports Park aims to build high-quality venues capable of hosting local and international sports events while providing a great experience for athletes and users. To construct a high-quality Youth Sports Ground, a range of technical factors were considered in the design, build, and selection of grass varieties process, ensuring the performance, durability, and safety of the playing surface. As a result, a hybrid turf system was chosen for the field.

The hybrid turf of the Kai Tak Youth Sports Ground is composed of approximately 95% Bermuda grass, with less than 5% being artificial grass fibres. As such, it remains a natural grass surface, maintaining the feel of a real grass pitch. The hybrid turf can enhance the durability and wear resistance of the field under different weather conditions, allowing for an extended playing season. These turf fields, primarily consisting of warm-season grass species like Bermuda grass, have an optimal growth temperature range of 27 to 35 degrees Celsius. They possess excellent heat and drought tolerance, ensuring good quality growth is maintained even in hot and dry climates. Additionally, they are known for their rapid recovery capabilities, quickly bouncing back from wear and tear. This makes them an ideal choice for sports fields in Hong Kong and across Asia, with many sports venues also utilising Bermuda grass pitches.

Images courtesy of Kai Tak Sports Park.

About the author

Nigel Benton

Co-founder/Publisher, Australasian Leisure Management

Nigel Benton is the co-founder and Publisher of Australasian Leisure Management, Australia and New Zealand’s only magazine for professionals in all areas of the leisure industry. Having established the magazine in 1997, shortly after his relocation to Australia, he has managed its readership rising to over 11,500 and its acceptance as the industry journal for professionals in aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues.

In 2020, he launched the new Asian Leisure Business website.

Among a range of published works and features, his comments on a Blog (blogspot) from 2007 to 2011, when this website went live in its current form, may be interesting to reflect back on.

Click here to connect with him via LinkedIn.

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