The west coast of Scotland is renowned for its lush green landscape thanks to the Atlantic gulfstream and frequent rainfall. But while the weather is a bonus for the gardeners, it can play havoc with sporting fixtures - something that Victoria Park City of Glasgow Athletics Club (VPOCG) and Glasgow Warriors know only too well.
The grass infield at Scotstoun Stadium was badly affected during recent winters with heavy rainfall rendering it unplayable for long periods, impacting on the home games of the Glasgow Warriors and limiting use by VPOCG for athletics training and competition.
Watch a timelapse video of the resurfacing work courtesy of Warriors TV
All that is about to change, with the Warriors preparing to enjoy first use of a pristine new surface on September 10 when Leinster come to Scotstoun for a Guinness Pro12 fixture.
Helping rugby tackle the rain
An investment partnership between sportscotland, Glasgow City Council and Scottish Rugby/Glasgow Warriors, supported by Scottish Rugby and scottishathletics, has delivered a major upgrade for Scotstoun Stadium with a new all-weather synthetic playing surface and significant improvements to the existing athletics facilities.
The investment was aimed at ensuring that the stadium would retain its position as a centre of excellence for rugby and athletics and remain available for use by the wider sports community. The redevelopment includes a new synthetic playing surface, improved athletics and rugby training facilities, a new event standard throws area and an upgrade to the outdoor running track.
The artificial pitch, which will meet World Rugby guidelines, will significantly reduce the risk of Glasgow Warriors fixtures being postponed. It will also increase the use of the infield for athletics during club sessions. Improvements to the adjacent training pitch will also provide an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) compliant throws area for training and events.
This is very welcome news for Glasgow Warriors Managing Director Nathan Bombrys. “From now on we'll have an excellent surface all year round where we can play the exciting brand of rugby we enjoy," he said. "It will also provide us with exciting opportunities which will help us grow the club and the game in the west of Scotland.”
A wider window for athletics
As part of the planned investment the existing 400m outdoor running track will be improved along with drainage works to the training pitch. The improvements will also benefit Victoria Park City of Glasgow Athletics Club and increase the current window for athletics events from April to September as opposed to June to August.
Secretary of Victoria Park City of Glasgow Athletics Club, Gordon Innes, said: "It will be a better training facility, with greater access to the infield and an improved throws area. The extended summer access will see a return of National Championships and League meetings which will be welcomed by the wider athletic community.”
This latest upgrade builds on the £18million redevelopment of Scotstoun which was completed in January 2010, also funded by Glasgow City Council and sportscotland. At that time, two new all-seater stands with a capacity of 5,000 were built, with additional flexibility to increase the capacity for future events.
An outdoor 400m running track, 100m indoor athletics warm-up track, strength and conditioning suites, office accommodation, hospitality areas and state-of-the-art press and media facilities were delivered as part of the £750,000 project.