NIJVERDAL, Netherlands, June 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — An artificial field hockey pitch that never has to be watered. With Pure EP by GreenFields, a subsidiary of TenCate, global supplier of and innovator in artificial turf for sports fields, the field hockey world is taking a revolutionary step towards greater sustainability and the ongoing globalisation of field hockey.
Field hockey players say the new dry (non-irrigated) hockey turf rivals the quality of water-based artificial turf, while saving millions of litres of (drinking) water per year. This innovation, which has been in the works for four years, also makes it possible to play top level field hockey in countries where water is scarce.
Field hockey club MHC Weesp is the proud owner of the world’s first dry (non-irrigated) hockey turf field. The field was certified by the International Hockey Federation (FIH). After the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, the FIH intends to exclusively use water- and infill-free artificial turf at the international level.
Vincent Homrighausen, managing director GreenFields and downstream EMEA at TenCate: “In 2018, the FIH announced its sustainable ambition to begin the transition towards water-free hockey fields after the Olympic Games in Paris. A water-based artificial turf field in the Netherlands requires 3.5 to 5 million litres of water per year. Given the growing water shortage and the lack of equal opportunities to play this sport, it was high time for a change.
“At GreenFields, we care about sustainability. This philosophy perfectly matches FIH’s ambition to make field hockey a sustainable sport. Furthermore, Pure EP will create a level playing field in the international world of field hockey. Due to water scarcity, water-based artificial pitches are a rare sight in countries such as India and Pakistan. Those countries lack the infrastructure of water-based artificial turf that we have here in the Netherlands.”
Floris Jan Bovelander agrees. He played for the Dutch national field hockey team 241 times and, with the Bovelander Foundation, wants to give disadvantaged children in countries such as India a chance to play sports. In India, he saw with his own eyes how irrigating a water-based artificial field can “use up a village’s entire water supply.”
Bovelander, former penalty corner expert for Bloemendaal and the Dutch national team: “For some countries, a constant supply of water is not a given. This new field will significantly reduce the inequality that exists between field hockey nations around the world. It will create a level playing field, which is an excellent development for the game of field hockey. I have already had a chance to play on the new field in Weesp and I was very impressed. Especially in terms of speed, it rivals a water-based artificial turf field.”
Colin Young, director Research & Development at TenCate: “The development process for Pure EP took four years. Our main concern was how to create a more sustainable solution without compromising the speed, the technique and therefore the appeal of field hockey. We subjected the new turf to rigorous tests and listened carefully to what the players who took part in our trials had to say. They were all very satisfied with Pure EP’s performances.”
Vincent Homrighausen foresees great interest in the new dry (non-irrigated) turf, whose surface does not consist of standard blades of grass. Instead, it is made of a unique composition of looped artificial turf fibres, resulting in elite-level speeds that can rival those of any water-based artificial turf.
Jon Wyatt – FIH Sport & Sustainability Director:
“As hockey transitions to be played on turfs that no longer need to be watered, FIH welcomes the innovations being shown by its Quality Programme members that will enable our athletes to still showcase their skills, speed, and power. We are also very pleased with the deep engagement shown by the global hockey community as we move to become an even more sustainable sport, in line with our values of contributing to a more environmentally friendly society.”
For more information regarding images and videos https://www.greenfields.eu/GreenFieldsPureEPpress