7 Reasons to Install a Multi-Use Games Area
Multi-Use Games Areas – or MUGA, for short – have grown in popularity at a rapid rate over the past few years, and for a wide range of sporting activities.
A MUGA surface can be constructed from either synthetic turf, macadam, polymeric surfacing or a needle-punch carpet.
Originally, MUGA games surfaces consisted of a macadam finish, but in recent years polymeric surfacing and synthetic turf have become far more desirable options.
That’s because they offer a far better playing experience and a decreased chance of injury.
There are many reasons why installing MUGA surfacing is a fantastic investment for your school, recreation centre, sports club or gym.
In today’s article we’re going to be taking a closer look at these benefits and examining them in detail, so let’s begin with our first reason to install a multi-use games area.
1. MUGA can be Used for Multiple Sports
Of course, this one is obvious, but it’s probably its biggest benefit.
The fact that the space is multi use makes it a fantastic investment, as it means that rather than having to finance and build multiple games surfaces, a MUGA can be used to host a variety of sports, all on the one surface.
Not only does this save money, but it’s perfect for clubs, such as those in inner city areas, that are short on space.
There are, of course, different types of MUGA surfacing to choose from, but most sports – including football, rugby, cricket, netball, tennis, badminton, basketball and athletics – can be played on all kinds of MUGA sports pitch.
This means that a MUGA pitch becomes a very affordable proposition for amateur sports clubs, as a number of different clubs can share the costs of the installation between them, to give them greater buying power.
2. Low Maintenance Costs
Another major benefit of a MUGA surface is that they are low maintenance.
Macadam surfacing and polymeric surfacing, for example, are virtually maintenance-free and really only need the occasional sweep and litter removal.
Synthetic turf MUGA surfacing requires slightly more maintenance, but it’s still just a fraction of what’s required for real grass surfaces. These types of surfacing require the occasional light brushing to reinvigorate the fibres and infill material, to be carried out after around every 15 hours or so of play.
As part of the maintenance routine, infill materials may also need to be topped up as and when necessary, but when it comes to maintenance, that’s about all there is to it.
This keeps the ongoing maintenance cost minimal and, in comparison to real grass pitches, the amount of maintenance hours required are drastically lower, too.
3. Can be Played on Almost 24 hours a Day, 365 Days of the Year
When compared to real grass surfacing, a major advantage is the fact that this type of surfacing can be used around the clock.
This, again, makes a MUGA surface a fantastic investment for sports clubs, recreation centres and schools, as they will get a lot of playing hours out of the surface.
Another major advantage MUGA surfaces have over real grass is that they look and perform exactly the same way in July as they do in January.
One of the biggest frustrations with real turf pitches is that winter play can be very different to summer play. Most real grass pitches are waterlogged during the winter and dry and patchy during the summer months, offering vastly different playing experiences.
MUGA surfaces offer a consistent surface to play on all year round.
Often, during the winter months, matches and practise sessions held on real turf pitches have to be cancelled due to excessive waterlogging. MUGA surfaces, on the other hand, are free-draining permeable surfaces that allow rainfall to quickly drain through the surface without bringing a halt to play, whatever the weather.
4. Reduced Chance of Injury
The earliest form of MUGA surfacing was macadam. However, the biggest issue with this form of MUGA is that it is abrasive. This often resulted in cuts and grazes for participants.
In recent times, however, synthetic turf and polymeric surfacing has become far more desirable than macadam. One of the main reasons for this is the reduced chance of injury.
Both of these types of surfacing, but synthetic turf in particular, are far less abrasive and if slips and trips occur there is far less chance of cuts and grazes resulting from it.
Both types of surfacing help to cushion the impact of slips and trips, too.
Polymeric surfacing is also soft and springy, to minimise the risk of sprained ankles and the impact on joints.
5. It’s Long Lasting
MUGA sports pitches are long-lasting alternatives to real grass pitches.
Lifespan, of course, depends upon the type of surface and the level of usage, but most MUGA pitches have a lifespan of at least 10 years.
When you consider that they can be played on almost 24 hours a day with minimal maintenance, that’s a vast amount of potential playing hours, making MUGA pitches a fantastic long-term investment.
The initial investment may seem large in comparison to a real grass pitch, but a MUGA surface will provide many more playing hours than real turf.
6. Encourages Physical Exercise Within the Local Community
Having a high-quality sports pitch in the local community will help to encourage people to take part in sports and physical exercise.
Playing on poor quality, run-down pitches can be demotivating for participants. However, a high-quality MUGA sports pitch will drastically improve the playing experience for participants, encouraging them to return on a regular basis.
This, of course, will also result in increased memberships for commercial sports clubs.
And the fact that, by its very nature, it’s designed for multiple sports means a MUGA pitch will cater for many different sports and tastes, rather than limiting participants to a single option.
This will help to encourage more members from the local community to get involved with sport and exercise and help to reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
7. Improves Mental Health
Of course, there aren’t just physical health benefits associated with a MUGA sports pitch.
Playing sport is a very sociable experience and it’s a great way to meet new people. It can help to give people a sense of pride, and the ability to work and interact as part of a team.
Physical exercise can also help to relieve stress and anxiety through the production of endorphins, natural mood-lifters that can keep stress and depression at bay.
MUGA sports pitches will help to improve the mental well-being of participants, which, with the ever-increasing number of mental health issues prevalent in today’s world, can only be a good thing.
There are so many big advantages to constructing a MUGA sports pitch that it’s little wonder these types of surfaces are quickly leap-frogging more traditional real turf pitches in popularity.
Of course, there’s no doubt that there is a large initial outlay, but its capacity for year-round, everyday use makes MUGA surfacing a fantastic investment for amateur and professional teams, as well as commercial sports clubs.
When you consider the wide variety of sports that can be played and the fact that it requires very little maintenance, it makes perfect financial sense.
If you are considering installing a synthetic turf MUGA playing surface (types 5–8) then we can help.
We supply high-quality sports turf that not only perfectly replicates real grass in terms of aesthetics and performance, but will also enhance the gameplay of virtually any sport.
For further information on our range of synthetic sports surfacing please click here, or call us today on 01245 931 200 and we’ll be more than happy to help you with your requirements.