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Guest blog: The whos, whats and whys of multi-use games areas

By admin on November 29, 2017

Versatile, durable, and brightly-coloured. Just three of the many adjectives we’d use to describe multi use games areas (MUGAs). Yet while MUGAs may be growing in popularity in the UK, they remain something of a new concept for those schools and clubs eager to make their first venture into the world of artificial grass.

With that in mind, we caught up with Alex Tombling from designers and installers of artificial grass projects, Synthetic Turf Management, who offers some insight into who MUGAs are best suited to, and why.

How would you describe the typical MUGA customer?

We typically find that we’re dealing with facilities managers at sports clubs or leisure centres, and caretakers or bursars at schools. With that being said, the need for a variety of different sports to be practised as part of the National Curriculum means there is generally more demand for MUGAs at schools than at other facilities, where there is a tendency to opt for more sports-specific surfaces.

What will generally be the criteria that would lead you to recommend a MUGA?

We’ll usually recommend a MUGA if the facility has limited available space but a need for a variety of different sports to be played. This is why they are particularly good for schools situated in inner city areas, where space is at a premium.

What is the first question you tend to be asked when you recommend a MUGA?

People are always interested in the process of how a MUGA is installed and the individual properties of the artificial grass that make it a durable product for sports.

Are there any instances where you have to dissuade customers from investing in a MUGA? If so, why?

There are certain sports that are not suitable to be played on a multi-sport surface, with rugby being a particularly good example because of the high impact of the sport. If rugby is one of the main sports that a facility is looking to host, we may recommend a specialist 3G rugby pitch rather than a multi-sport grass. As with any project, there may also be other obstacles that could interfere with or limit a project such as site access, available funding and the current condition of the ground.

Do you have any top tips for MUGA users wanting to maximise their return on investment?

We always recommend that schools in particular consider hiring their facilities out to the general public to maximise revenue and expand the variety of sports offered in the local community. Some of our projects have even been the catalyst for new clubs such as walking football or 5-a-side football teams. To be able to offer those extra hours of usage outside of the school day though, it is important to make sure the MUGA is suitably equipped with peripherals including floodlights and fencing, which improve the facility’s access and safety.

A MUGA is a great way to encourage sports participation for all, so whether it’s the delivery of more engaging PE lessons, extra after-school sports clubs, or specialist training programmes, there is almost an endless list of possibilities that will benefit the school or club, and users of all ages and abilities.

Whether you own a multi-use games area, or are thinking of investing in one, why not read how to get the most from your MUGA?

How can we help?

TigerTurf manufactures and installs high quality products for a range of sports, leisure and landscape applications.

We are committed to providing expert knowledge and advice on synthetic turf products and systems, along with exceptional customer service before, during and after your purchase.