Sam Ward Q&A

Sam Ward counts down to the Olympics

We spoke to our Hockey Ambassador, Sam Ward, ahead of his first Olympic Games to see how he and Team GB are preparing for their summer in Rio…

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1. Team GB…

Q: What is your favourite memory from previous Olympics?

A: I remember watching 2012 and saying ’I want to be at the next Olympics’. Now it has become true it is the one memory which really sticks in my head.


2. Career…

Q: If you weren’t an international hockey player, what career would you have chosen?

A: If I could have chosen a career I would have been a cricketer. If I couldn’t be that though I would be a car salesman.


3. Music…

Q: What music helps you get into zone before a match?

A: Anything with a strong beat/rhythm tends to get me going.



4. Diet & Training…

Q: Does your diet or routine change when building up to a major international tournament?

A: It doesn’t really differ at all throughout the year. We stick to what food helps you to perform at the best of your ability, apart from pre tournaments we maybe focus more on tactical elements.


5. Tour Life…

Q: Which country did you enjoy touring the most?

A: My favourite place we have been recently is Australia.

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6. Travel Essentials…

Q: What are your top five travel essentials you couldn’t live without?

A:  My hockey stick, trainers, phone, Ipad, and a travel adapter!

Jet Lag

7. Globetrotting…

Q: How do you overcome jetlag when playing in different countries?

A: We have very good support staff who advise when is best to sleep and not to sleep to help recover from it as fast as possible.


8. Rest…

Q: When touring abroad do you get time soak up the local culture?

A: Not very often as the main thing is to perform as well as we can on the pitch, so rest is the main priotiry in down time.

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9. Climates and Altitudes…

Q: Do different climates and altitudes affect you the way in which you prepare for a match?

A: On game day it does not affect what we do. But for a tournament for example we may do acclimatisation training before we leave in preparation.

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10.  Memory Lane…

Q: What is your earliest sporting memory?

A: I remember scoring for my school hockey team when I was 6!

Broken Hockey Stick

11.  Advice…

Q: What would your top tip be to any young and aspiring Hockey player?

A: Never give up, if you believe then you can definitely achieve.

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12. Rio 16…

Q: How does it feel to be chosen as part of the Great Britain Olympic team?

A: I can’t put into words how amazing it feels. It was always a childhood dream. But it’s not about just being selected, it’s about performing and winning a medal.



The Jack Patrick Memorial Cup

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Notts Sport team members enjoyed a fun day out of the office on Friday 1st July at the Jack Patrick Memorial Cup cricket day, raising money for Help For Heroes in memory of esteemed co worker, friend and family member Jack Patrick.


The charity, which was important to Jack, has been chosen as the company’s Official Charity of the Year, with a pledge to raise £30,000 over 2016.

“The charity is important because it helps support so many soldiers and allows families to continue with their lives even after the worst may have happened.” Laura Bennett

220,560 individuals were deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2014. Up to 75,000 servicemen and women (and their families) will need HFH support in the future”.  Shaun Patrick


The charity event was held at local ground, Lutterworth Cricket Club, with help from the club, The Barmy Army and Help For Heroes. The first match kicked off at 2pm, with the Help For Heroes cricket team vs. The Barmy Army, walking on to a rousing rendition of Jerusalem from Notts Sport’s resident DJ Tom Douglas.

Help For Heroes comfortably won the first game against the Barmy Army, whose team featured appearances from BBC Radio 5 Sport Extra’s Charlie Dagnall and Henry Moeran. Both batsmen made good contributions to the final total of 139, but Help For Heroes made short work of chasing their target down, the ball sailing over the boundary and causing the spectators to scatter.


Prosecco and cocktails were the order of the day, as the stylish converted horsebox ‘Ranieri’s Prosecco Bar‘ pulled up to hand-mix drinks for the steady queue that formed throughout the evening. Other attractions included two bouncy castles, a BBQ, cake and sweet stalls, and a huge raffle with donated prizes worth over £2,000.

“On the day I sold raffle tickets, the prizes donated were fantastic and numerous and I was flabbergasted by the amount of generous people wanting to buy tickets. I was so glad that some of the prizes went to people who really had to dig deep to find the money.”  Keith Parker.

Special guest ‘Billy The Trumpet’ performed classic cricket tunes to rally the crowd, and Wasim Khan MBE presented the trophy to both Lutterworth CC and Help for Heroes teams who drew after the exciting second match was cut short due to unexpected rain.

The evening culminated in an al-fresco auction with the crowd bidding on items such as 4×4 experience days, a signed England Cricket shirt and bat, personalised pet portraits, a luxury picnic hamper, and a signed Leicester City programme from the winning season, all kindly donated from local businesses. Notts Sport chairman Shaun Patrick’s best moment of the day was watching a novelty Help For Heroes cake sell for an astonishing £400, and says that the amount raised was “Amazing. Simply amazing.”


Fundraising for Help For Heroes was great team building for the Notts Sport team, and an opportunity to socialise with the community at large:

“It is fantastic for the entire company & their families to come together for such a good cause and allows us to develop and build community relationships here in Lutterworth” Duncan Bennett.

“It’s always nice to be with colleagues out of the office as well as in, I think it’s what helps in all the team getting on so well and a great part about working for Notts Sport.” Laura Bennett.

“It is an incredible achievement to raise such a large amount of money for charity in one day.”  Jason Palmer.

“The day was such a fitting way to remember Jack and to support his charity Help for Heroes. The turnout was incredible, cricket great and to raise £8,000 was an unbelievable effort, thanks to everyone who gave their time and money so generously!” Mark Coeshaw.


Notts Sport would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who came along, donated on Just Giving, played cricket, volunteered, gave prizes, bid in the auction, baked a cake and generally helped to make this incredible afternoon go with a bang (despite the occasional downpour)! We are pleased to announce that we raised an amazing £8,000 for Help For Heroes, and we hope that the money will go a long way in helping to improve the lives of the UK’s injured servicemen.

When asked to sum up the day in three words, cricket fans decided upon:

“Generosity at large!”

“Sun, fun, beer!”  

“A worthy cause.”


and “Same next year!?”




Drone Diary

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The Notts Sport team have been getting to grips with the latest development in photographic technology: The DJI Phantom 3 Drone. We asked our Twitter followers to choose its name, and ‘The Drone Ranger’ won in a landslide victory!

This month The Drone Ranger has been all over the country, photographing  completed facilities at Etone College; Holyrood Academy; Gillingham Anchorians HC; Holcombe HC; Hackney’s Mabley Green Park; and Oundle School. This fantastic bit of kit enables us to take bird’s-eye-view images and videos at a height of 500m, allowing us to capture the entirety of our pitches and playgrounds from the sky for the first time.

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Keep a lookout on social media using the tag #DroneDiary to see where in the UK The Drone Ranger will pop up next.


Oundle School, Northamptonshire


New Job Opening at Notts Sport – Technical Assistant.

Due to continued growth Notts Sport is looking to recruit a Technical Assistant to join its successful Research & Development team.
As the Technical Assistant for Notts Sport your role will be split between testing and developing new innovative products, quality control of existing products and working closely with the CAD department in producing high quality drawings. Notts Sport has innovation at its core, and it is the continual development of new and innovative products which drives the passion of the team and success of the company within the industry.The role will involve undertaking testing of sports pitches, writing professional, clear and concise reports and using analytical skills to play a key role in developing new products. As part of our commitment to quality, regular testing and reporting of existing products will be undertaken in accordance with ISO9001 standards. In addition, our successful Multi Sports department will require additional resource for key stage testing during both the pre and post-installation phase of a synthetic turf sports pitch project.

The role will be both office based for the majority of the week but also requires time to be spent on the road visiting new and existing sports pitches throughout mainland UK.

Your work in the CAD department will mainly involve producing visual and technical drawings for our Cricket department and occasionally the ChildsPlay and Multi-Sports departments working with our current lead CAD Technician. This will be achieved using Autodesk Revit and AutoCAD, design software which allows the user to create objects and products and export them in professional layouts that the sales team will use to promote sales and to aid in planning applications.

The role will be split approximately 60% testing existing and developing new products, 30% completing high quality CAD drawings and 10% aiding the synthetic turf pitch department with on site pitch testing.

Certain applicants will enrol within the Notts Sport academy which is an in-house training programme designed to progress individual staff members’ skills and knowledge through problem solving and team work exercises, while working with real projects and live briefs. Through this outlet, the younger members of the team are given the opportunity to voice business ideas and input creatively in an open and collaborative environment. The scheme has proven to be integral to the growth of the company, with important new business ideas stemming from the Academy sessions. Notts Sport realises that nurturing individual talent in this way will be beneficial for the company now, and in the long term.

You must be a friendly and professional person, trusted by clients and your colleagues, and driven to succeed. You should be able to manage your time effectively and keep up with the demands of the job which may involve overnight stays in any given working week. A clean, full UK driving license will be required. Technical experience of artificial turf pitches and testing will be a preference but full training can be provided. Computer aided design experience is preferred although training can be provided by a member of staff or externally.

To apply or to find out more about the position please send your up to date CV with a covering letter to with the title of the email “Job Application – Technical Assistant”.

Exciting new job opportunity – Sports Planning & Project Manager

Due to continued growth Notts Sport is looking to recruit a Planning & Project Manager to join its successful synthetic turf pitch department.

As the Planning Officer & Project Manager for Notts Sport you will be working closely with a wide variety of customers at any given time including local authorities, education departments, schools, architects, facility managers, sports pitch contractors and main contractors to deliver bespoke planning applications and consultancy to meet all statutory requirements in order to achieve permission for external sport pitch facilities.

This role will involve managing planning applications from inception to completion & assisting our team in delivering large scale, high profile sports pitch projects via the unique Notts Sport turnkey Design & Advisory Service.  This service led approach to our customers encompasses all aspects of the design, development, specification and delivery of synthetic turf pitch projects for customers throughout the UK with you on hand offering expert advice and support at every stage.

You will be office based and out on the road with responsibilities ranging from telephoning prospective clients (to service new and existing customers with planning requirements), arranging appointments, consultations & meetings and  managing the planning process through all stages right through to following up with statutory consultees  and signing off conditions.

Projects will be generated by the Multi Sports department of which you will be a part and the company marketing initiatives within the United Kingdom.

You must be a friendly and professional person, trusted by clients and your colleagues, and driven to succeed.  Technical knowledge of planning processes will be required along with high levels of communication skills as is the ability to deal with people at all levels and build strong, long term customer relationships across a wide variety of customer and supplier sectors. You should be able to manage your time effectively and keep up with the demands of the job which may involve overnight stays in any given working week.

Technical experience and a proven track record of planning & project management is essential with a combination of both a preference.

I.T skills will also be an advantage; Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Microsoft Customer Relationship Management (CRM) are key tools to deliver your key performance results.

To apply or to find out more about the position please send your up to date CV with a covering letter to with the title of the email “Job Application – Planning Officer & Project Manager”.

WIND FARM FUNDING: Crawford, South Lanarkshire

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This month sees the completion of an exciting ChildsPlay project in the picturesque village of Crawford, South Lanarkshire. The site sits at the base of Clyde Wind Farm, the UK’s second largest onshore wind farm, capable of providing renewable energy for 200,000 homes.

The playground is a prime example of a facility enabled through community funding, directly from the wind farm (CWFF), along with other capital projects which result in a range of benefits for the local people and economy.


Once funding was secured, Notts Sport worked directly with South Lanarkshire Council to develop the 740 square metre site, which uses 6 of the 15 Notts Sport colours in the fun surface design: Olive Green, Tillet Red, Sunset Orange, Navy Blue, Vivid Yellow and Fjord Blue. By using the NottsBase EPP system, which has a critical fall height of up to 2.1m, the Crawford Playground surface is key in reducing the likelihood of injury from impact falls, ensuring that play on equipment is stimulating and safe.

You can read more about the benefits of ChildsPlay on our website.


Many other wind farms like Clyde are working within local communities to provide funding for projects like these, where subsidised grants can enable the installation of recreational sports and leisure facilities. If you are interested in applying for a grant for a community project, the first step is to contact your local council who will be able to give you information on local wind farm funds available. The SSE also has a wealth of information available for those looking into funding for projects in Scotland:



Shockwave – Taking Synthetic Turf Rooftop Installations to a New Level

Synthetic turf is becoming commonly used in rooftop situations and the patented Notts Sport ‘Shockwave Eco Base’ system provides the ideal design solution, particularly where the area is to be used for sports or any other aerobic activities.

Constructed from Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) – the same material used in car bumpers, cycle helmets and packaging materials – ShockWave was developed in consultation with major sports governing bodies.

The system is the ideal solution for a rooftop synthetic turf facility and can be installed in conjunction with a variety of synthetic turf types. Notts Sport can meet and discuss the surface options to ensure that the right combination and design is employed to as closely as possible to offer the best possible performance for your project.

Some key benefits of the system when used in a rooftop scenario;

• Programme benefits – the Shockwave system is performing the function of being both a base layer and shockpad which reduces overall installation time compared to other systems
• Reduced loadings on the rooftop. The Shockwave tiles are lightweight (approx. 1.95 kg per tile)
• Sound reducing properties – ideal to lessen the noise impact of footfall on the floor(s) below
• Enhanced playing performance standards for many sports – the Shockwave system, when an appropriate 3G synthetic grass is selected for installation with Shockwave, this would provide a surface that meets the FIFA 1*, the new World Rugby Regulations, Rugby League and Gaelic Football!
• Easily transportable (each Shockwave tile measures 1.20m x 0.90m)
• Simple installation process – ideal where rooftop projects have multiple trades working concurrently
• Thermal properties – tests show the system provides the same insulation as an aggregate blanket more than a metre deep!
• No large machinery required – helping to design out risk
• Can even be installed with a bedding layer to allow installation even on a rooftop that is not constructed on a single plane
• Excellent horizontal drainage properties meaning can be installed over a non-porous base membrane if required
• Extensively laboratory tested at Loughborough University and MIRA, with further performance testing at independent accredited test houses
• Cost benefits compared to other rooftop systems
• Guaranteed for a minimum of 20 years

Notts Sport has developed an enviable world-wide reputation for high quality, artificial sports surfaces and multi-use games areas with an impressive portfolio of clients that includes sporting bodies, clubs and associations, schools, local authorities and the private sector.

We have more than 30 years’ experience in designing, advising upon and supplying non-turf surfacing for cricket, tennis, hockey and football – and we offer a comprehensive service, from our free consultation and design advice right through to installation and aftercare.

All Customers enjoy our unique & free Design & Advisory Service based on Notts Sport supplying your chosen synthetic grass. This means we work at risk but ensures you have the best chance of achieving your project goals from feasibility studies, to planning, to specification, to tender and aftersales.



Notts Sport are looking for partner locations that would find value in incorporating the system. The product would be installed at a heavily reduced price and so chosen organisations would benefit from fantastic, cost per year, value along with improved performance at minimal cost.

If this is of interest to you then get in touch as detailed below.

Notts Sport are specialist suppliers of synthetic grass cricket pitch systems for both indoor and outdoor, portable or permanent, solutions, to all levels of the game, including, in 2015, the new non-turf pitch & practice area at Lord’s Cricket Ground. If you have a new build or refurbishment project then please do not hesitate to contact us via email: or call: 01455 883730.



As a keen hockey player at school I have wanted to get back into the game for a number of <<cough>> years now.

Being nervous or afraid of the unknown is always a good but slightly poor excuse for not doing things, but having heard about the England Hockey “Back To Hockey” campaign ( at work for some time, I was intrigued to find out more about it but I was still yet to pluck up the courage to travel the half mile from home to see what actually goes on there.

 Chatting with another Mum whilst duly watching our children at yet another after school sports class, we got onto the subject of hockey and how much we both enjoyed it at school.

 “Ahh, I loved playing hockey, shame there’s nowhere for people of our age to play that also haven’t played for years.” She said.

 “Ha funny you should say that,” I reply, “England Hockey run a Back To Hockey session, anyone, of any age and ability can get involved, fancy it?”

 I’m not sure if it was panic or amusement on my friends face at the speed of my response, but as the children’s lesson had ended we went our separate ways, I’m pretty sure she thought that was the end of that. But I wasn’t missing the opportunity of going and with backup! I emailed the local hockey club as soon as I got home, and within a couple of hours I had a reply with all the details about the session and a friendly invitation to come down and give it a go.

 This email I forwarded to my ‘other Mum’ (aka Mum A) who probably by now felt she couldn’t back out, but I like to think that she was spurred on by my enthusiasm. She agreed to come down with me the following Wednesday to see what went on at the hockey club.

 Wednesday arrived and my nerves were beginning to get the better of me (& it was v cold!), but I received another lovely email from the hockey club saying how they’re looking forward to us coming down and that there was kit we could borrow if we had none.

I messaged a group of friends telling them what I was up to that evening, all replied telling me to go for it. Three even wanted to join me! Unfortunately due to commitments all but one was unable to. The third (MumB) agreed to come along.

Mum A dropped out last minute due to the dip in temperature (but has absolutely promised to come along when it gets warmer), so Mum B and I met in the car park and went in together. Immediately welcomed by club members who offered us kit, explained the structure of the session and pointed us in the direction of the group warming up.

What an evening!!! Superbly organised! So busy! Who knew?! Juniors leaving the pitch following an earlier session; mixed team and ladies team warmed up together, then divided up for practice, sequences and mini games. The atmosphere was reminiscent of school but as I absolutely loved games lessons this was not a bad thing in my eyes. The atmosphere was so friendly and no one seemed to mind that we were more than a bit rusty. I cannot wait until next week!

 My only regret is that I put off going along in fear of meeting an unfriendly clique who would ridicule me for being old and unfit. I couldn’t have been further from the truth.

 Oh and I remembered why I loved this game many moons ago. It’s because it’s blooming awesome!

 As Sport England say #thisgirlcan. And this girl will.

Learn more about Back to Hockey by visiting and see all the daily twitter activity by following the hashtag #backtohockey, you might even see me!

Written by Kirsty Bishop

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Yet again, judging by the amount of telephone calls and emails we are receiving, flooding has hit cricket clubs hard. If your club’s ground or school’s playing field has suffered, the artificial cricket pitches or net areas, normally unaffected by the elements, are likely to have been left in need of attention…

Sport England have announced an Emergency Flood Relief Fund that will initially invest up to £400,000 of National Lottery monies into repairing sports facilities that have been damaged as a result of the floods or storms but here I offer a five step guide that every organisation can follow to help get their non-turf pitch back in playable condition to fight back against Storms Desmond, Eva and Frank!

1: Remove wrinkles from the surface

Flood water can reduce the carpet tension causing wrinkles to form across the surface, or even pushing out perimeter nails. To remove wrinkles, take out the nails and either pull out the wrinkles by hand, or in extreme cases, use a light roller (5 / 6 cwt or one that two people can easily pull) to help push wrinkles towards the edges and out. Re-fix the pins by inserting them at an angle and hammering them part way in, then straighten the angle of the nail to add tension.

2: Clean the surface

Once the surface is fixed and secure, it should be cleaned thoroughly using a power-washer or high pressure hose, starting at the centre and working out towards the perimeter, followed by sweeping with a stiff brush to remove stubborn debris.

3: Roll to aid moisture removal

When there is no standing water on the pitch but it is still damp, the surface can be rolled to help remove excess moisture. Use the light roller from Step 1 along across both the length and width of the pitch to help squeeze water from the stone beneath. If this appears to be causing depressions then the stone is too wet for rolling and the process should be stopped. Leave the pitch to dry naturally before attempting to roll again.

4: Assess the levels of the surface

Once the surface has been rolled, the levels of the facility should be inspected to ensure that ‘movement’ hasn’t occurred whilst the base was waterlogged. The ECB requirement is: there should be no deviations greater than 6mm under a 2m straight edge.

To check this, place a 2m straight piece of metal or timber onto the surface – positioned so that the ends are pointing widthways across the pitch – and measure any visible undulations. If the readings fall outside of the requirement then contact Notts Sport as you may need to employ specific expertise to carry out base re-levelling works.

5: Final snags

Once the surface is level and wrinkle free, crease areas should be re-marked and clay stump boxes, if these exist within your facility, should be watered and the clay ‘worked’ to firm it. With the facility back to full health, it is important to continue to follow the standard maintenance guidance for such a facility.

If you find more extreme damage than described above, such as holes or tears in the surface or underlays, or deep undulations, then contact us requesting a site inspection and quotation.

Notts Sport are specialist suppliers of synthetic grass cricket pitch systems for both indoor and outdoor requirements, to all levels of the game, including, in 2015, the new non-turf pitch & practice area at Lord’s Cricket Ground. If you have a new or refurbishment project then please do not hesitate to contact us via or call: 01455 883739.

Written By Mark Coeshaw –  Director of Cricket & Play


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