In Bologna Fc1909’s sports centre, an innovative synthetic turf football pitch has a mix of rubber recycled from End-of-Life tyres and organic material among its grass blades. Moreover, under the grass, there is a recycled rubber mat. A state-of-the art surface that performs at its best even under ice or snow, when natural turf pitches cannot be used.
What Bologna Fc1909’s goalkeeper, Angelo Da Costa, Defence player Arturo Calabresi, and Sports Trainer, Stefano Pasquali have said about the pitch.
A playing surface that is perfect in every weather condition, that guarantees an excellent shock absorption, the return of elastic energy to the athlete, the reduction of micro-shocks and a rolling and bouncing of the ball identical to the best natural turf football pitches. These are some of the main advantages of Bologna Fc1909’s innovative synthetic turf pitch. Under the grass, it has a performing mat made with rubber recycled from End-of-Life tyres. Among the synthetic grass blades, instead, it has an infill in recycled rubber and organic materials.
The new football pitch, made thanks to the partnership set up among Bologna Fc1909, Ecopneus, and Limonta Sport, demonstrates that the playing surface can really make the difference, if made with an innovative technology.
What Bologna Fc1909’s players said
“We are fine on our synthetic turf pitch and we can carry out training sessions that are basically identical to the ones we would have on a natural grass pitch, even in snowy days as today”. This is what Angelo Da Costa, Bologna FC 1909’s goalkeeper stated. “From the moment that we goalkeepers have to jump very much, this very soft synthetic surface makes us feel as if we are on a natural turf pitch. We are lucky to have it, because we can train without changing our programme, even in case of snow or rain.
Bologna Fc 1909’s defence player, Arturo Calabresi, agrees with him: “this pitch allows us not to reduce the intensity and the quality of our training sessions, even in bad weather conditions, so we can always prepare our matches at best. In the past, when I trained on synthetic turf pitches, I had muscular and articulation problems, contractures, and also problems to knees and ankles. On this pitch, instead, I have never had any problem”.
The Sports trainer, Stefano Pasquali said: “the new technology used for our synthetic turf pitch allows to give continuity to our team, and this is a very important element for us. For example, we recently had a new player who had to train without the team, but the natural turf pitch was frozen. Thanks to this new technology, we were able to carry out the training on the synthetic turf pitch without losing any single day”.
The new sport surfaces, both synthetic and hybrid, tend to be more and more common compared to the natural turf ones, thanks to their reduced maintenance costs and greater resistance to weather conditions and wearing caused by sports activities. However, it is evident that the professional experiences are still limited in Italy.
Bologna Fc 1909 is a club with a glorious past (this year it is celebrating its 110th anniversary). It has demonstrated to be able to attentively look to the future and to those new technologies that can improve players’ performances and facilitate a better and more valid management of the facilities.
THE PARTNERS OF THE PROJECT
Bologna Fc 1909 has embraced this research and development project being convinced that reaching for the balance of the body represents the way to improve athletes’ efficiency. For this reason, they chose to install a Duoshape pitch with Geolastic at the technical centre “Niccolò Galli” in the town of Casteldebole, where the team carries out their daily training.
Ecopneus is the non-profit consortium set up by the main tyre producers operating in Italy. It coordinates the collection, transportation, and recovery of End-of-Life Tyres (ELTs) generated in Italy. Over 210,000 tonnes of ELTs are collected as an average every year and are then transformed into recycled rubber for sports surfaces, “silent” and long-lasting asphalts, materials for soundproofing, energy, and much more.
Since 1979, Limonta Sport S.p.A. has developed and produced the best systems on the market for synthetic football pitches, rugby, tennis, hockey, golf, and PVC surfaces for basketball, volleyball, handball and badminton. The synthetic material product range has gradually grown with the addition of sustainable, eco-compatible innovations and hybrid systems, bearing particular attention to athletes’ performances and safety. The modern and efficient productive plant in Italy and its branches in China, Paraguay, and Spain make of Limonta one of the strongest and most reliable companies at international level. The validity of the designed systems has been recognised by the means of the certifications they were awarded from federations such as FIFA, WORLD RUGBY, and International Hockey Federation, as well as the many partnerships Limonta Sport has set up with the most important Clubs in the world of sport. (www.limontasport.com).
THE BOLOGNA Fc 1909’S TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS
The DUOSHAPE pitch is equipped with a special double section of the synthetic turf fibre. This allows a much greater resilience if compared to the traditional threads and the excellent play performances. It is an innovative technology that improves the playing performances and combines them with the resistance to wear and use of a greatly-performing recycled raw material: rubber from End-of-Life Tyres.
The polymer used for the synthetic turf guarantees resistance to wear and softness upon touching. This offers an unprecedented renovated comfort of play and constant safety for the players. The particular corrugated surface of the filaments sensibly reduces the abrasion and light refraction coefficients and it assures a constant return of the fibre in vertical position after treading it, thus guaranteeing the excellent rolling of the ball and simplifying maintenance.
The Geolastic infill is a mix of organic material and “nobilitated” recycled rubber (i.e.: coated with a coloured pigment that encapsulates the rubber granule) developed by Limonta Sport. It has been developed to maximise performances, thanks to the properties of recycled rubber, at the same time minimizing the surface temperatures for the intrinsic properties of the organic material that better retains humidity. The composition and density of the infill components perfectly integrate into the synthetic turf system, avoiding the problem of the “infill splash”, and making the field more performing even from a TV point of view.
The draining elastic sub-mat in recycled rubber produced by the company Pentaplast has been appositely modified so as to optimise performances with a special reference to lateral thrusts.
For the carrying out of this project, Ecopneus has been able to rely on the vision and innovation skills of Limonta Sport – the company that has created the surface – and Bologna Fc 1909 that hosts and uses it.