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Bandra's St Andrew's rolls out five-a-side artificial football surfaces

Bandra school rolls out four new FIFA-approved five-a-side artificial football surfaces and one FIH-approved 11-a-side hockey turf later this month

St Stanislaus is said to be the leading sports institute in Bandra, but its neighbour and rival, St Andrew’s High School, is all set to become the pioneer of sports infrastructure.

The blueprint of the St Andrew’s artificial turf project. On the left are the four five-a-side football turfs, while the hockey turf is on the right
The blueprint of the St Andrew’s artificial turf project. On the left are the four five-a-side football turfs, while the hockey turf is on the right

The Bandra school will have a swanky, new astro-turf surface, which is likely to be functional later this month.

According to the plan, there will be four FIFA-approved football turfs (5400 sq feet each) to facilitate the five-a-side format and one FIH-approved 11-a-side hockey turf (24,000 sq feet). Both turfs have been imported from ACT Global, a Netherlands-based company.

A worker watches over the new artificial turf at St Andrew’s High School in Bandra. pics/suresh karkera
A worker watches over the new artificial turf at St Andrew’s High School in Bandra. pics/suresh karkera

According to sources, the project being executed by the school in conjunction with sports infrastructure company, Infinite Sportss, is estimated to be around Rs 4 crore.

Mumbai currently has only two full size artificial hockey turfs — one at the Mumbai Hockey Association in Churchgate and the other at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Complex in Kandivli.

St Andrew's School principal Fr Magi Murzello

St Andrew’s school principal Fr Magi Murzello said it was a huge relief to see the project nearing completion, having been in the pipeline for half a decade. “We were looking to have an artificial turf for the last five years, but were unable to find the right partners. Also, some of the people in the neighbourhood were against us having an artificial surface. I am glad we’ve finally got it,”

Fr Murzello told mid-day recently, adding that talks with Infinite Sportss began in January last year, but a formal agreement only came about in November and work began this January.

The turfs have an efficient drainage system to ensure usage in all seasons. The project also includes floodlights, changing rooms (six), washrooms and stands for spectators with 180 bucket seats) and team dugouts.

Since the cost incurred for the project is massive, the school plans to rent out the space. “We will let out the turf for tournaments and coaching, and the money earned will be invested into the turf’s maintenance. St Andrew’s school and college students though can use it for free. The turf is also conducive for box cricket and rugby,” added Fr Murzello.

Project details & technical specifications

>> Four FIFA-approved five-a-side football turfs.
>> One FIH-approved 11-a-side hockey turf.
>> Football turf grass 60mm tall & hockey turf grass 18mm tall.
>> Six changing rooms with washrooms, stands for spectators    with 180 bucket seats.
>> Dugouts for teams

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