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2018 Socca World Cup Stadium

2018 Socca World Cup Stadium

It’s a truism that after every world championship the focus is on the next. The same applies for football. But it would be a mistake to think of 2022 and Qatar already. Because the next World Cup is happening at the end of September and it will be held in Lisbon. The Portuguese capital will play host to 32 teams from around the world as they battle it out for the biggest title in small-sided football. The venue for the Socca World Cup is the stadium in the Praça do Comércio, which has been built specially for this event. This square marks the centre of the vibrant capital city and is where all the matches in the tournament will be held.

Germany’s national team will also be in on the action under the excellent leadership of national coach Malte Froehlich and assistant coach Sebastian Maak. The games will be played just like the “big ones”: the group stage consists of eight groups, each with four teams. The teams all play each other with the aim of finishing in the top two of each group to reach the last sixteen. They then move on to the knockout stage to try and make it to the final on 29 September 2018. The German team’s first opponent is India, followed by Croatia and Angola. The games are played on a half-size pitch – and on synthetic turf from Polytan.

LigaTurf Socca Surface for the 2018 Socca World Cup

Polytan has created the “LigaTurf Socca” playing surface in conjunction with the International Socca Federation (ISF) specifically for this major event. This synthetic turf is custom-made and has smooth and textured filaments like the LigaTurf Cross system, although in this case they are green and blue. And this surface is likewise extremely robust and easy to maintain. Friedemann Söll, Head of Product Management & Marketing at Polytan, comments on “LigaTurf Socca”: “We are proud that our latest technological advances enable us to contribute to an event that brings so much pleasure to people across the world.

Events of this kind show that sports events are moving increasingly from out-of-town stadiums into the inner cities and the big squares where they can reach spectators on an emotional level. We provide easy-to-install, temporary systems to cater for this clearly identifiable trend so that professional sport can be practised in such venues as well. And, needless to say, we are also taking the opportunity to demonstrate the numerous attributes of synthetic turf systems in Lisbon in conjunction with our partner ISF.”

2018 Socca World Cup Stadium

Shahzeb Trunkwala, Vice-President of the ISF, emphasised the fact that its partnership with Polytan is set to continue after the current World Cup and into the future. Christoph Koechy, who manages all the sponsorship activities around the World Cup, believes he is receiving the best possible support from Polytan and the “very best artificial turf you can get anywhere.”


Emma Tonegato and her team finished 1st in the World Series, 2nd in the Commonwealth Games and 3rd in the World Cup. She was chosen as one of the seven best players for the Season Dream Team of the Year. During March last year Tonegato had surgery on her right shoulder to repair her labrum tear. To her shock, in June she hurt her shoulder again in the last play of the game at the World Series Tournament in Paris.

Tonegato had an MRI when she got back to Australia and doctors confirmed she would require surgery for a shoulder that could dislocate at any time. After speaking together with her doctors and coaches they decided she would attempt to play at the World Cup tournament. Keeping in mind the World Cup was only a month after the World Series Tournament in Paris. Tonegato’s surgery was put on hold until after the World Cup tournament.

She was given a brace positioned around her arm and connected to her opposite leg for training to avoid her dislocating her shoulder. In the back of her mind at training and the tournament she played carefully because she knew her arm could dislodge at any stage. But nothing can stop the fighter in Emma, she still fought through and won bronze from the tournament.

Following the World Cup Emma spent a week on holiday in Mexico and then returned to Australia for the surgery she is recovering from now. The rugby team are currently on leave so she will be spending time with her family while she recovers from her injury. She will miss the two World Series tournaments but will aim to be back in full steam ahead to play in the last four. Emma returns back to training on the 22nd August and is determined to play at the Sydney 7’s in February 2019.

Polytan wish Emma a pleasant and speedy recovery, so she can get back on the rugby field to play the game she loves.



The 2018 European Athletics Championships in Berlin has began and Polytan Germany are proud to have helped design one of the special, innovative features of this event, a second sports venue in the city centre at Breitscheidplatz.

Whilst the majority of events will take place in the Olympiastadion Berlin, the opening and all medal presentations, along with the start and finish of the marathons and other road events will all take place at Breitscheidplatz, where Polytan’s blue track will be framing the event area for the duration, which will really grab spectators’ attention.

In the 84 year history of this event, this is an innovation like non-else. A bridge has been built from the stadium to Berlin’s city centre. This exclusively transformed landscape and exciting atmosphere allows fans to walk to the city centre and celebrate at a huge athletics party called the “European Mile” each day of the event.

Keep an eye out for multiple German Champion and 2012 European Champion, Tantjana Pinto who will be a testimonial on the race track for our SmarTracks performance diagnostic tool and participating in this event. We will be keeping our fingers crossed for her and all the other athletes for a successful European Championship! On your marks, get set, go!

For more information on Polytan’s involvement in this event please click here

For further details on this event please click on the following link :

Polytan an official supplier of the 2018 European Athletics Championships in Berlin.

Fearnley Dawes Athletics Track, 12 Months On

In May 2017 Polytan completed the track resurfacing for the Fearnley Dawes Athletic Centre, which incorporated a custom designed wheelchair training lane. This incredible facility is the second in the world to include a dedicated wheelchair lane and now enables equal opportunity for all athletes to train and compete side by side.

The Fearnley Dawes Athletic Track is the current training ground for World Championship and Paralympic medallists Christie Dawes, Kurt Fearnley and Rheed McCracken. The facility experienced much attention in the lead up to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and has been progressing forwardS in leaps and bounds ever since the upgrade.

With the facilities reputation increasing substantially and similarly, an increased awareness of inclusivity within sporting and recreational activities developing, the facility has been overwhelmed with further investments.

Some key investments included the Federal Government Stronger Communities Grant, NSW Government Community Building Partnership Grant, a local Newcastle City Council Grant, Little Athletics NSW Grant, a donation from Toro Australia and further cash investments from local businesses in the surrounding community.

This funding has led to facility upgrades such as the creation of a wheelchair sports admin office, a photo finish booth, new IAAF accredited discus and hammer throw cage, shade structures beside the track, new high jump mats, utility vehicles and the assistance in further capital and maintenance works. Updates like these lead to a more appealing, functional and inclusive facility for athletes to train and compete.

Additionally, after the completion of the track upgrade, Polytan partnered with the Newcastle Athletics Field Management Inc in a Gold Level Sponsorship to provide the venue with additional funding for two years.

Twelve months on and the centre has grown dramatically with more people training and competing at the venue than ever before!

For the first time, wheelchair athletes now have the opportunity to train with their friends and colleagues. Incredibly, over 10,000 school students are attending over 25 carnivals in 2018 and there are weekly training sessions from athletic development squads such as Hunter Sports High School, Hunter Academy of Sport and Newcastle Grammar School.

Now, over 600 people have casual training passes which are currently available for 21 hours per week. Wheelchair Sports NSW have regular weekly sessions for people to come and try wheelchair sports sessions supporting the transition into wheelchair sports for disabled athletes.

“In its first season the Newcastle City Little Athletics Centre has doubled its numbers since the resurfacing growing from 110 to 220 Little Athletes!” – Scott Westcott, Facilities Manager

The Fearnley Dawes Centre now pride themselves on being an inclusive venue where able-bodied and the disabled can train alongside each other with the new additional wheelchair lane.

“The unique work by Polytan has been a major driver in turning around what was only a short time ago a rundown and tired facility, now it is a busy and vibrant centre of community sport in the heart of Newcastle.” – Scott Westcott

Providing a successful blueprint for future Australian sporting facilities, Polytan are keen to continue raising awareness about the benefits of developing inclusive sporting facilities.

“We want to see every state and territory in Australia embrace an athletics tracks with dedicated wheelchair facilities.  Polytan will provide advice and education to any facility looking to become inclusive and wishing to increase sport participation for the entire community” – Paul Kamphuis, General Manager, Polytan Asia Pacific.

With so many achievable and affordable ways to create inclusive sporting facilities, Polytan recognises that education is the key to change and as such have partnered with Victoria Disability Sport and Recreation, to help raise awareness within the community.

Learn about the Polytan Inclusive Sport, Recreation or Open Infrastructure Award at the Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Awards this August >>


2018 Victorian Disability Sport & Recreation Awards


The annual Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Awards recognise the achievements of people with disability, those who support them, and the inclusive sport and recreation sector across the state.

It is an opportunity to celebrate the athletes, volunteers, officials, coaches, clubs, communities, venues and programs that enable and empower people with disability to get active, achieve their goals and live happier lives.

The creator of these awards, Disability Sport and Recreation (DSR) believe every person has the right to live the life they want, with opportunities to take part in sport and recreation for improved health and wellbeing.

Research indicates inclusive sporting facilities allow athletes of all abilities to feel accepted and empowered. Able-bodied athletes and athletes with a disability can participate in sport alongside each other in the same facility. This promotes increased participation levels and the sharing of positive experiences creating a happier and healthier lifestyle for everyone.

Polytan Asia Pacific support the development of inclusive sporting facilities globally. Recently joining forces with DSR, Polytan hope to further raise awareness about the benefits of creating inclusive facilities for every community, and supporting venues with knowledge on how to implement changes successfully.

The City of Melbourne’s North Melbourne Recreation Reserve and Newcomb Power Football Club have been nominated as finalists for the Polytan Inclusive Sport, Recreation or Open Infrastructure Award.

The North Melbourne Recreation Reserve has created a soccer field for the blind and the Newcomb Power Football Club has established a plan allowing disabled athletes post Auskick, to play in the junior competition with the assistance of an on-field helper.

Polytan would like to congratulate both nominees on the successful delivery of inclusive facilities and programs. The awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday 1 August 2018 in Melbourne.

Polytan General Manager – Paul Kamphuis recently spoke at the 2018 National Disability Sports Conference as part of the National Sports Convention. Using a recent case study, Paul shared Polytan’s experience and advice on design elements that can open up the doors to creating inclusive facilities for a greater range of athletes.

Evidence now suggests there is minimal costs involved with making facilities more accessible and inclusive by adopting simple design changes in the early stages of planning and construction.

If you’re keen to start learning how to make your sporting facility inclusive – Take a look at Australia’s First ever athletics track with a dedicated wheelchair training lane in Polytan’s case study of Fearnley Dawes Athletic Track.

This is the second facility in the world to incorporate a training facility for wheelchair athletes, and was the home training ground to Kurt Fearnley in the lead up to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games where he won GOLD!

Thanks to the Fearnley Dawes Athletic Track, Australia now has a successful blueprint for creating inclusive sporting facilities.

Polytan are committed to delivering athletics tracks with dedicated wheelchair lanes to every Australian state and territory, so that all athletes have equal opportunity to participate in sport.

Please share this article to help raise awareness about the need for inclusive sporting facilities within your community and the opportunities that are now available to help venues adopt this positive change, towards the future of sport participation for all abilities and communities.

Designing for Community Rejuvenation

In February 2011, New Zealand experienced the biggest disruption to their everyday lives, when an earthquake struck Christchurch in the South Island. The outdoor active population sunk to around 400,000. Sporting grounds as well as individuals lost their homes and identity but the New Zealand traditions, values and ability to rebuild, still remained as strong as ever.

Polytan happily took on the Nga Puna Wai Sports Hub Project to help the Christchurch Council create new sports surfaces for 18 outdoor and 6 indoor tennis courts, a full athletics track and arena, 2 turf surfaces for hockey and 2 synthetic fields for rugby league. The advanced Rekortan Gel 13 surface for the athletics track is the first in the region to be installed.

Polytan are proudly working to help cater the daily needs of recreational and educational communities. By doing so we are giving the community a place where they can share experiences, perform or observe sport in a place where they belong.

Polytan is reinventing this community with the goal of empowering athletes from grassroots through to Olympians to achieve their greatest performance at a state of the art facility, bringing incredible value to the community of Christchurch.

Take a look at the time lapse video below, showing the construction to date.


The SMART Way to Track Your Athletic Performance


Elite Athletes and those training to be, have a new technological way to track their athletic performance without having to use a stopwatch.

Stopwatches have become a thing of the past, as there is a new technological way to track your athletic performance. Polytan and Humotion GmbH have formed together to create a new athletic tracking technology called SmarTracks. The new high- tech system has been created so elite athletes and those training to be can “keep track” of their running performance.

The SmarTracks app can be downloaded on an Android mobile device, or a sensor belt can be worn around the waist to record data between magnetic timing gates. Magnetic gates are distributed across the track at certain points to record data of the athlete’s performance from one timing gate to the other. The data records motion from the magnetic timing gates allowing consumers to record distance, stride length, stride frequency, jump heights, tappings, splits performance, number and length of your spots and lots more.

Coaches, athletes and sports scientists will find this new product fascinating, as they will be able to use this advanced technology for the analysis of their athletes’ performance. Multiple athletes can use the SmarTracks system at the same time, collecting individual data simultaneously. The new technology is durable, waterproof, vandalism resistance and maintenance free, so if you want to train in wet or windy conditions, you can as the system is 100% protected underneath the surface of the track.

The first installation in Australia of the SmarTracks system was recently completed at La Trobe University, Bendigo. The aged athletic track was resurfaced by Polytan using a Spurtan BV system, that now provides excellent performance and with the addition of SmarTracks, can record data from any athlete with an android smart phone or SmarTracks belt. SmarTracks will now be used by university students and professors for research and biomechanical study purposes.

The new to Australia SmarTracks system is the smart way, to develop your athletic performance. The latest in performance analytics technology will empower athletes from grassroots through to Olympians to achieve their greatest performance.

For more information on Polytan’s SmarTracks and Athletics Synthetic Surfaces, please call our friendly team on 1800 663 812 or contact us (here)

Polytan will be featuring live demonstrations of this technology at the National Sports Convention.

To book a Sports Surfaces Industry Factory Tour Click here




Queensland Sports and Athletic Centre

Built in 1982 for the Commonwealth Games, the QSAC’s State Athletics Facility & Main Stadium athletics track has been resurfaced using Rekortan M99 in Hertha Blue has been completed.  QSAC’s Main Stadium features the 9 lane athletics track with a 10 lane straight for international, national and local athletic events, while the State Athletics Facility for athletics carnivals, training and outdoor events.

Rekortan M99 ideal for international elite sport and is ideally suited to major athletic stadiums due to high performance whilst the robust design also ensures a particularly long lifespan.


Are we there yet?

Four simple words filled with such anticipation.

The construction of the new synthetic AFL field at Gardiner Park, is progressing steadily with support from Polytan and the Stonnington City Council.

Watched closely by AFL VIC, surrounding community members, sporting enthusiasts, Polytan Ambassador and Melbourne Demons AFLW athlete Laura Duryea, the completion of this facility cannot arrive soon enough!

Polytan are actively supporting the growth of AFL in Victoria and are keen to promote the sport for all age levels from grassroots, right through to the elite. Polytan Ambassador Laura Duryea visited the construction site earlier this week to see how the synthetic field was evolving and to get a feel for what the facility will be like after completion.

“We definitely need more all-weather facilities to support the growing interest in AFL sport. With the popularity of AFLW, communities are already seeing a struggle for suitable facilities that can accommodate the influx of young girls and boys wanting to get out on the field for a kick. Gardiner Park will be an impressive new facility and I hope to see Polytan deliver more of these community gems over the coming years” ~Laura Duryea

As an incredible primary school teacher herself, whilst visiting the site Laura couldn’t resist having a little skills session with some eager young children who simply couldn’t hide their enthusiasm to the new Gardiner Park facility, and how it is coming to life before their eyes.

The facility has ‘turned green’ as we say in the last few weeks, however still has more synthetic turf to be laid, further landscaping works done, performance infill deposited, completion of the shockpad and drainage cell, plus more. Are we there yet? No, but we are getting closer every day!

For more information on Polytan’s synthetic AFL fields, please call our friendly team on 1800 663 812 or send us an email.


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*Images featuring Laura Duryea at the new Gardiner Park facility with eager fans


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