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Never a line out at Giggleswick, except during a rugby match

Never a line out at Giggleswick, except during a rugby match

School rugby is certainly moving along the right lines at Giggleswick School where the youth game is mining a rich vein of form, whether non-contact tag rugby for the seven-year olds or the powerplay of the U18s.

Geographically, Giggleswick’s location in Settle, North Yorkshire, is at the epicentre of northern counties competition and stages a host of events across its age groups, such as the festival held this November for Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cheshire and Northumberland/Cumbria/Durham/ U16s teams.

When England selectors are attending, presentation is paramount, which is why Head of Grounds Craig Eccleston ensures his ‘Fields of Dreams” are pitch perfect in every respect.

“Boys and girls rugby are big here,” says Craig,” we hold festivals for the U9s, U10s and U11s right up to the U18s. Our pitches are in good condition, well-drained and maintained so that they can withstand intensive use for several months of the year. They have to look the part and laying down bright sharp lines is an important element of our preparations.”

Seeking to emulate the success of last year’s U16s festival Craig has, once again, applied Supaturf Stadia paint with the TX252 line markers that have served him and his grounds team so consistently well over the years.

“We had tried several makes of marker machines and paint but had suffered various problems with them,” recalls Craig. “Either the machines were prone to blockages or the batteries had issues. My predecessor used the Supaturf machines and paint when he moved to another school and recommended them. Since then, we’ve never looked back.”

Rugby is just one of several sports Gigglewick provides that need the reliability and professional finish Craig’s TX252s and Stadia paint provide. The floodlit synthetic sand-dressed hockey pitch comes in for heavy use during the autumn and winter, while football enters the arena at the turn of the year before cricket on the three squares and rounders start in earnest over the spring and summer terms.

After boundary marking on the squares, using their TX252s, the team reverts to hand painting the creases applying neat Stadia paint to provide “a bright strong, hardwearing line that fits the bill”, Craig says.  The grounds team use the machines for marking out athletics for summer also doing the job on the three grass tennis courts too he adds.

Their manoeuvrability means the team can quickly mark out corner quadrants and other curved lines on playing surfaces. “Our different coloured aerosols serve us well there too,” says Craig,  “Depending on which sports are planned, we use red, blue and yellow. They also come in handy for measuring out pitch dimensions initially and for `Ground under repair` notices

“Our wheel-to-wheel line markers had proved good value for money but when I was given a demonstration of the spray markers, I just had to switch,” Craig adds.

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