Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School, Liverpool, is a specialist sports college, which excels nationally in several sports, and produces a conveyor belt of professional sportsmen in athletics, boxing and football. Steven Gerrard is probably its most famous old boy.
At the centre of this sporting excellence is the school sports hall. Used all day by 1,500 students and then after hours by community clubs for a wide range of sport, the existing wooden floor was tired, becoming slippery and needed sanding, polishing and remarking every few years.
“We wanted to provide the pupils, staff and local community with a new and modern sports facility,” said Jake Collin, Director of Community Sport, who worked on the scheme’s project management.
“Our options were to re-sand the existing floor, relay it, or choose new materials. We got Gerflor out to see us and Taraflex™ was a product we could afford that would meet our bespoke requirements.
“In fact, we painted the walls and installed new lighting at the same time and it looks like a £1million sports hall, but we only spent £25,000 on the floor and £45,000 in total.”
International flooring specialist Gerflor has developed a range of sports flooring that can overlay existing surfaces, saving time and money, as well as being more environmentally friendly.
Jake Collin said:
“It was laid straight on to the wood in a weekend. There was no disruption.”
Used for football, cricket, basketball, handball, circuit training, badminton and volleyball in school – as well as doubling as the school’s exam hall – it was also important that the community customers were happy too.
Jake Collin added:
“Liverpool Basketball Club train at the school and we asked their opinion before we went ahead and now we’ve laid it, Liverpool Handball Club are coming here as well.”
“The footballers were a bit wary of change at first, but they think it’s fantastic; it offers much better grip and, anecdotally, since it was laid I think we’ve had fewer accidents; fewer bumps, bruises and friction burns because it’s less slippery than the old floor.”
“What clinched it for me was Taraflex’s suitability for different sports and the acoustics; there was a lot of noise with the wooden floor, which wasn’t conducive to teaching.”
Taraflex™ has been used in every summer Olympics since 1976. Available in 17 colours and two wood-effect designs, the Sport M Evolution offers P1 category shock absorption and meets EN 14904 Standard for indoor sports surfaces. It is recognised for providing safety and comfort without impairing performance.
Treated with Sanosol?, for antibacterial and fungicidal protection, and Protecsol?, which renders polish redundant, it also has double density foam backing.
Jake Collin concluded:
“It’s easy maintenance. We brush it every day and give it a gentle buff once every three days.”
“This school is a specialist sports college and we demand the very best facilities.
“We’ve got them now.”