Batting for school cricket

14 May 2019

Engineering capacity news posted by Andy Sandford

Laser cutting, coating and fabrication specialist Gratnells has helped create fold-away cricket nets that will support the promotion of cricket in inner city schools.

Gratnells worked with DEM Sports. which recently revealed an updated Concertina Cricket Net and Multi-Sport Foldaway Net System. These unique fold-away, space saving systems have been designed to promote cricket at grassroots level, primarily for use in schools without fields or where space is at a premium.  

These versatile nets can be used as a safe place for containing any ball games, sporting practices, coaching sessions or disciplines; including but not limited to cricket, batting, bowling, catching, rounders, football and hockey. 

As well as encouraging health and fitness and increasing overall physical activity, the aim is to make games like cricket available to all children, even those who attend inner city schools with tarmac yards or similar areas not ideally suited for practice.

Participation in sport is thought to have a number of positive effects on children from improving coordination, interaction with others, teamwork, fitness, confidence and mental well-being. As part of ongoing anti-childhood obesity initiatives, the Government recommends 30 minutes of activity per day is required for children in the school setting. Equipment such as DEM Sports nets will enable more schools to meet these standards. It is hoped that more schools will be able to invest in this initiative by tapping into funding levied from the soft drinks industry, earmarked for improving school sports facilities and promoting healthy living; or through Funding 4 Education, which enables schools to purchase or lease sporting equipment.

Gratnells, historically known as the leading name in school storage in over 68 countries of the world, has developed its engineering arm into a multi-sector manufacturer capable of providing high-volume laser cutting, powder coating and bespoke metal solutions to a wide range of customers.

As well as developing the refined design of the DEM Sports nets, Gratnells Engineering provided a laser cut, powder coated finish with protective foam pads over the metal posts. The net system is either fixed to a wall, post or fence and uniquely folds back to 50cm, extending out to 8, 10 or 12 meters depending on the size that is ordered. The Multi Sport variation measures 10m x 6m and folds back to approximately 82cm for storage against a wall. If required, the whole playing area can be enclosed using a sliding front net. Extending the nets for use requires two people but takes only minutes to perform.

Anthony Byrne, Gratnells Product Manager, said: “Gratnells has a long history of supporting ideas that aim to help children succeed. We were delighted to work on refining this DEM Sports equipment as it has the potential to unlock inner city play spaces and combat obesity. We look forward to seeing the nets being used by children all over the UK soon.”