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09 May 2022

idverde’s work for Saltire Energy Caledona Cup

A Huge Day for Rugby Youth Finals in the north of Scotland

idverde was delighted to be asked by Sport Aberdeen to carry out extensive sportsfield work to host this year’s Saltire Energy Caledonia Cup, the largest youth rugby competition in Scotland.

The competition saw more than 1,800 young players participate across 150 teams from 27 different clubs.   The inclusive Finals day was held over the May bank holiday at Sheddocksley Playing Fields in Aberdeen and the annual event aims to increase participation and skills level of boys and girls in the north east of Scotland.

Creating rugby pitches

The playing fields formerly comprised 4 football pitches in various conditions and a redundant green field area.  Over a few months, idverde worked with its client, Sport Aberdeen, to transform the area to create 5 high quality rugby pitches for the tournament.  In addition, the work has benefited football players, since the pitches that are being returned to football pitches (after the rugby competition) will be of a higher quality.

Firstly, idverde’s Contract Manager, Stewart McBain, and Sport Aberdeen’s Ground Services Manager, Nigel Spencer, carried out design work to establish the configuration of the pitches. This included where they would be situated, to avoid the location of the football goalpost sockets, so that those goalposts could be easily reinstated into the sockets after the competition, without requiring extensive remediation.  Part of the solution was to change the direction of the layout; there were 4 footballl pitches lying east to west and the rugby pitches were laid out north to south.

Then, the idverde team, comprising 10 highly skilled operatives, moved into action on multiple stages of work over a period of a couple of months.  Some of the grass area had not been used for some time due to waterlogging problems and had resulted in very poor grass conditions. Our team scarified the grass area to remove the thatch that had built up and open up the surface to allow re-drainage. Also, just prior to the tournament, we used an innovative machine Air2G2, that idverde has recently purchased, to improve drainage on the playing fields. We then collected all the arisings, then spread 200 ton of sand onto the 5 pitchs (40 ton per pitch). All 5 pitches were then verti-drained, with the sand rubbed into the verti-drained holes in order to create free-draining surface. We then spread fertiliser and grass seed on all the pitches.

Once the grass was established, idverde engaged a specialist company to line out the rugby pitch using a GPS system. As the rugby posts are 10.8metres high, they were secured into the ground using concrete sockets, with 1m3 of concrete.

Getting ready for competition day

Towards the completion of the pitches, the playing fields were honoured by visit from representatives of Scottish Rugby, including their Regional Director (Rudi Urbach) and Director of Rugby Development (Gavin Scott). With all the pitches looking in healthy condition, the posts were erected on the Friday and our teams checked all pitch conditions on the Saturday to ensure they were in top quality, ready for the next day.

Time for kick-off

On the day of the competition, four of our team arrived on site at 6AM and walked all the pitches to ensure no debris or waste was on the pitch and that the surfaces were fit for play.  Our Contract Manager and our skilled operatives were on hand throughout the day so they could undertake any repair work to the pitches following play. Sport Aberdeen staff worked alongside idverde to make sure everything was running smoothly.

Despite fierce competition on the field, other than a few minor disturbances, there was next to no damage on the pitches and the pitches were easily returned to top condition for the next game.  Two idverde operatives stayed through, until 7pm in the evening.

The results are in !

Great celebrations were in order all round, both by the young rugby players and from the success of playing fields themselves.

The results of the 15 finals, for the titles for a range of groups, from Under 18s to Under 15s, for both boys and girl teams, can be found on the SRU’s website here.

idverde’s Stewart McBain was delighted that his old school team, the Mackie Academy Boys Under 18s took home the cup, after a performance described by the SRU as “nothing but short of a thrilling game”, against Stirling County.

We were delighted to receive thanks and  feedback from Rudi Urbach, Scottish Rugby’s Regional Director for Caledonia North, thanking both Sport Aberdeen and idverde for our part in making the day a success, commenting, “Very often it’s the effort and deep care by organisations and people like yourselves that many don’t really recognise until they leave a place thinking … there was something special there today”.

What happens next ?

The original 4 football pitches will now be reinstated for football fanatics and they will benefit from improved conditions. The pitches will comprise a higher quality of grass condition than before the event and the work will help long-term performance of the pitch surfaces.

As part of the legacy of the games, discussions are underway for leaving 2 of the rugby pitches on the grounds. This is to celebrate the success of the event, but moreover to encourage all young people of varying skill level and all ages, boys and girls, to become involved in rugby, both for the sport and for the social interaction that rugby is famous for.

 

 

 

Photos by Scottish Rugby/SNS

ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - MAY 01: Mackie Rugby are presented with their Boys U18 Winners Shield during the Saltire Energy Caledonia Cup Youth Rugby Finals Day at Sheddocksley Playing Fields, on April 30, 2022, in Aberdeen, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - MAY 01: Highland v Dundee Rugby during the Saltire Energy Caledonia Cup Youth Rugby Finals Day at Sheddocksley Playing Fields, on April 30, 2022, in Aberdeen, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - MAY 01: during the Saltire Energy Caledonia Cup Youth Rugby Finals Day at Sheddocksley Playing Fields, on April 30, 2022, in Aberdeen, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)