Public flout rules at National Sports Centre

Public flout rules at National Sports Centre

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National Sports Centre users are being urged to obey the rules to help stop the facilities being damaged or people being injured.

People have moved sprinkler systems, taken dogs into the area and driven trucks over the field, according to staff at the Centre.

Facilities manager Trevor Madeiros said: “We don’t want to stop people using the facilities and having fun, but we would really ask everyone to respect the rules to avoid unnecessary, and potentially costly damage that could spoil it for other people, or even cause injuries.”

Mr Madeiros said that although vehicles driving on the fields is not as big an issue as when the North Field opened, people still sometimes drive onto the grass to get around another vehicle or just to turn around.

He said: “The main issue here is that we have irrigation heads less than 12 inches from the edge of the road and sometimes, if a car or truck catches the head just right, it can crush it, resulting in either a broken head or irrigation fixture.

“The comeback is usually that ‘golf carts and mowers drive on the field’, but these types of vehicles have turf tires that have a much lower PSI rating than road vehicles.

“Also, if the field is soft after a rain, tyre ruts are left on the surface and theses have to be forked back up by hand and sometimes dressed with sand to smooth back out.”

There has also been a problem with the irrigation heads at the hockey field as players often like to turn these by hand to dampen a certain part of the pitch, or to stop the head from wetting the dugout or grandstand concourse.

Mr Madeiros said: “The Hockey Federation and groups have been asked numerous times not to tamper with the heads when they are on.

“If one of the heads was to snap off by rough handling, a person could be seriously injured as the water pressure is at 80 PSI. Also, the time to repair and cost of replacement parts is not insignificant.”

Mr Madeiros added that there is a ban on animals in the stadium.

He said: “It is a classic case of the few spoiling it for the majority. Not picking up after your dog means we have to do it and makes it unpleasant for other stadium users.

“It has also happened where doggy mess has been flung onto our mower operators. There are no less than six signs around the facility to inform people of this policy, but dogs are still brought in.”

When the North Field opened, joggers were allowed to run around the inside of the road, on the grass.

However, Mr Madeiros said a wear pattern soon developed.

“This is a part of the field we can’t aerate due to sprinkler heads being here and we can’t alleviate the resulting compaction. So we have two signs up indicating ‘no unauthorised use of field’ — which includes walking and jogging.

“Most people do heed to this now, but we still some people who think it’s OK to do this when no one is around and we do get play groups where the parents often give free reign to the children to use the field.

“People that have bad knees and can’t use the circuit road can pay to use the track or perhaps use the Arboretum which is free.”

According to operations manager Craig Tyrrell, a number of people totally ignore the reception booth when entering the Aquatics Centre and South Field.

Most people are regulars or coming to collect children, but everyone should check in at the booth, he said.

He added: “We encourage the public to get memberships and to use the facility, but we ask that everyone follows the posted rules to ensure there is no damage or injury.”

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Public flout rules at National Sports Centre

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