Quintessentially English, the gracious game of cricket embodies everything that’s sublime about long, lazy summer afternoons. Whether it’s sipping tea and witnessing the gentle sound of leather on willow, or some ferocious fast bowling and run-outs, it’s a spectacle not to be missed. It’s also a sport that can bring out the very best in our younger generation.
There are currently 18 English Cricket Board (ECB) funded county academies. The county academy system is there to develop players capable of performing at 1st class and International level. To further these ambitions the Kent County Cricket Club wanted to develop the facility they had at The County Ground in Beckenham, Kent.
Anna Spencer, Manager at The County Ground Beckenham said, “The ground owners, Leander Sports and Leisure, built houses on part of the site to fund the redevelopment.” She went on to add, “this includes a number of year-round facilities including an indoor cricket school and events centre, a permanent 2,048-seat spectator stand and a 3G football pitch. The aim was to develop a significant base for Kent Cricket in the north-west of the county and as a general sports development hub in metropolitan Kent.”
To ensure that a fabulous training surface would be made available to the Kent County Cricket Club they turned to Architects PDP London who in turn specified Taraflex® vinyl sports flooring from international flooring specialist Gerflor.
PDP London is a multi-award-winning, 120 strong London based practice with an international portfolio and an office in Hong Kong. The practice is well-known for its skilful integration of new buildings within historic urban environments through a broad spectrum of residential, urban design, commercial, hospitality, cultural and mixed-use projects.
Leslie van der Veen, PDP London commented, “we have a long-standing relationship with Kent County Cricket Club and the owners of the ground, having in the past developed some of the existing club facilities in Beckenham.” He went on to further add, “The club hosts seasonal cricket matches and social functions as well as a wide variety of events involving the local community such as; schools cricket, football, and sport-related educational courses and coaching. Previously there were limited amenities and hard standing for vehicle parking. The developed scheme now provides a new space for social and sporting events to the benefit of the community.”
Leslie van der Veen further said, “The indoor hall at The County Ground is used for multi-sports, including primarily indoor cricket training. The Gerflor Taraflex flooring system specified met the club’s requirements for an appropriate surface for these specific sporting activities. The flooring system is also adaptable in its application to different substrate conditions and comes in a large variety of colours.”
Taraflex® vinyl sports flooring has been used in many international and local sporting events and is available in 17 colours and three wood-effect designs.
The Sport M Performance product offers a P2 category shock absorbency 25% to 35%. Taraflex® is recognised for providing durability, safety and comfort without impairing performance. The range also offers greater than 45% force reduction, making it unrivalled in the marketplace in terms of offering comfort for users. Taraflex®meets the EN Standard of 22196 for anti- bacterial activity (E. coli - S. aureus - MRSA) (3) returning >99% levels of growth inhibition. The product is also treated with Protecsol®, which renders polish redundant and is triple action meaning no polish is ever required, it contributes to easy maintenance and is anti-friction burn and slide/grip. Taraflex® has a double density foam backing and with another bonus, it’s environmentally friendly.
Taraflex® Sport M Performance from Gerflor also meets the EN 14904 Standard for indoor sports surfaces… and very importantly for this project, it’s also ECB compliant. The Taraflex® ‘point elastic’ flooring has a higher comfort factor than ‘area elastic’ floors and reduces the risk and severity of injuries. Taraflex® is also available with the Dry-Tex™ System which is perfect for new construction or refurbishment projects with damp subfloors. Leslie van der Veen concluded by saying, “Gerflor were very helpful in identifying, within their range, the appropriate flooring system for this specific use and substrate condition.”
Anna Spencer also commented, “our 1st XI, 2XI, Academy, Disability Squads and all County age groups train here across the winter and say that the surface plays well with a true bounce.” She ended by saying,” we get a lot of compliments from local clubs to International squads who have trained here.”