Clean Bill Of Health For All-Weather Facility

25th May 2023

Our prized all-weather facility has passed its latest inspection with flying colours.

The artificial pitch was given a clean bill of health by inspectors as part of the International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) stringent Hockey Turf and Fields Standards programme.

After rigorous testing, the independent school’s impressive pitch and surrounds were found to meet the FIH’s quality standards, resulting in its compliance certificate being renewed for a further two years. The pitch will be tested again in 2025.

The pitch’s performance level, wear and tear and player welfare properties were monitored during the inspection while the supporting pitch-side infrastructure was assessed to confirm that it was fit for purpose.

The bounce of the ball, ball roll and shock absorption were all considered for the school’s category three pitch which, according to FIH regulations, can stage national and local competitions as well as training sessions.

The inspectors also took into account line markings, perimeter fencing, and the condition of associated equipment such as the goals.

The facility, which includes a full-size hockey pitch or two half-size pitches, dugouts, floodlighting and a practice area, is arguably the jewel in the sporting crown of our boarding school on the borders of Hampshire, West Sussex and Surrey.

Contractors broke ground in August 2019 and the pitch was ready for use the following April but plans for its immediate use were put on hold because of the outbreak of the Covid pandemic.

The development was officially opened in October 2021 by Crista Cullen, part of the victorious Team GB side which won gold at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

As well as being a strong addition to the school’s sporting provision the facility is open to the local community, with Haslemere Hockey Club, Liphook United Football Club and Hampshire Hockey Player Pathway among regular users. It is also the base for the school’s Saturday Sports Skills activity which is open to both Highfield and Brookham Schools pupils and local children.

Highfield Head Suzannah Cryer said: “One way or another our wonderful hockey pitch was quite a long time in the making, but it really has proved to be worth the wait. It looks fantastic and gets many admiring comments from visiting teams and parents. But best of all, given that it’s in near-constant use by our pre-prep and prep school children for matches, coaching and PE lessons, as well as the wider community, we have the peace of mind knowing that it’s 100% safe and in superb condition for our children to use.”