Grounds for debate over fake turf

Grounds for debate over fake turf

The warning comes after the City of Vincent council agreed to consider partly funding Perth Soccer Club’s Perth Community Playing Fields Project.

Turf Australia president Anthony Muscat, who sells natural and synthetic turf, said local councils might not be properly weighing up the pros and cons of fake grass for sporting purposes.

‘Synthetic grass has its place, but it isn’t on the sporting field,’ Mr Muscat said.

‘There have been several studies that show synthetic turf increases injury risk for players, as it doesn’t have the cushioning effect like natural turf.

‘Additionally, fake grass gets up to three times hotter than natural grass; it has been shown to reach temperatures 93.3 degrees celsius.’

Perth Soccer Club president Gary Marrochi said the City of Vincent passed the project on to the Department of Sport and Recreation and expected to hear back from them early next week on funding availability. He said claims that synthetic grass increased the risk of injury to players were incorrect.

‘All of the issues raised by Turf Australia have been thoroughly investigated by Perth SC as part of our feasibility study for the project,’ Mr Marrochi said.

‘More than 75 independent, credible research studies across the globe have validated the safety of synthetic turf.

‘Recent research has also concluded that the injury risk of playing on artificial turf is no greater than playing on natural grass.’

He said the club made the decision to use artificial lawn because it did not have the resources or the capacity to maintain natural turf to a professional standard.

‘That is the key factor behind our decision to look at the synthetic alternative.

‘Synthetic turf can be used three times more often than natural turf,’ he said.

‘We are convinced, on the back of significant research and evidence, that the Perth Community Playing Fields will provide a safe playing and training venue for community sporting teams.’