Sports fans get champions’ pitch
24th May 2013, 3:08 pm By Principality Stadium
Sports fans in Merthyr Tydfil will get a cut of Wales’ Six Nations legacy as the Millennium Stadium pitch is turfed out for recycling this week.
The hallowed turf which staged Wales’ championship victory over England will soon be reused to renovate some of Merthyr’s most popular sports facilities, as part of the venue’s commitment to sustainability.
Ashley Road, Gors, Tir Canol and Mynydd Newydd playing fields will benefit from the recycling programme managed by Bridgend-based sports pitch contractors, Inscapes. The turf will also appear at Underhill Park and Elba Sports Centre.
The scheme was set up to provide local rugby fans with the chance to play on Wales’ home soil and practice some winning rugby of their own while also reducing waste at the iconic sports venue.
Millennium Stadium Manager Gerry Toms said: “The pitch that hosted Wales’ exciting Six Nations win over England leaves the stadium this week to be recycled and will be re-used to renovate the playing fields in our local communities.
“We’re extremely proud of our recycling systems at the Millennium Stadium and this scheme allows us to keep waste to a minimum while also offering local rugby fans their very own piece of Welsh rugby history.”
The unique palletised pitch is being recycled to make way for a sizzling summer of events, starting when Speedway wheels into town on Saturday 1 June.
By the time global music icons Rihanna and Bruce Springsteen raise the Millennium Stadium roof on June 10 and July 23 respectively, rugby fans could be pre-season training on their own field of dreams.
Officials at Tondu RFC, recipients of the turf last season, were delighted with their Grand Slam gift. Chairman John Evans said: “This initiative has proved a great benefit to the club as without the correct facilities our teams, from minis to seniors, could not play each week.”
This year the 40mm thick ryegrass turf will be recycled as compost for sports facilities in the Merthyr Tydfil and Swansea areas, while the root zone (soil) will remain at the multi-event venue for re-use next season when Rugby League World Cup opens in Cardiff in Saturday 26 October.
Darren Crossman, Facilities Manager at Millennium Stadium, heads up sustainable development at the venue which has prompted savings through reduction of waste, lower energy use and re-use of equipment and infrastructure.
“By making changes in the way we run our business, the Millennium Stadium has improved the social, environmental and economic impact of our events. This has also benefitted a great number of our stakeholders as we look to make use of local services and products, reduce waste and recycle,” he said.