Stoop matches nominated for prestigious Sport Industry award

Great Britain Hockey at the Twickenham Stoop
England Hockey, Harlequins and their partners were delighted to be nominated for Sport Industry Group's Cutting Edge Sport award for Big Stadium Hockey; our ground-breaking pitch technology that enabled Great Britain to play two games at the Twickenham Stoop last June.

In conjunction with partners the FIH, Sport England, Polytan, STRI Group and Permavoid, England Hockey installed ground-breaking technology at the home of Harlequins, with Great Britain's men and women beating New Zealand in front of the largest hockey crowds on home soil since the London 2012 Olympics.

The technology allows hockey to move flexibly to much bigger venues in an innovative and sustainable fashion. It is helping hockey to grow worldwide; with Hockey Ireland using the same technology for their FIH Olympic Qualifiers in November, and a number of other nations also expressing an interest in future use.

We will be repeating the technology in an even bigger and better fashion in 2020 as we play four FIH Hockey Pro Leagues games vs Argentina across both Sat 16 and Sun 17 May. Seats go on general sale on Thu 20 Feb.

Sue Catton, Big Stadium Hockey Project Lead said, "We are delighted to be nominated. England Hockey strives to be innovative and this technology takes our great sport to bigger stadia than ever before. All of the partners involved have worked incredibly collaboratively and we look forward to going back to The Stoop in May."

Twickenham Stoop preparations for the FIH Pro League

How did the technology work?
We first installed Permavoid which allowed us to build a hockey pitch over the existing rugby pitch, providing a strong base, enabling the grass to keep growing and supporting drainage. We used the new hockey turf developed by Polytan for the Olympic Games in Tokyo which requires up to 65% less water than other pitches. The pitch used at The Stoop was then installed at Bisham Abbey for the men's and women's teams to prepare for Tokyo, and the Bisham pitch then moved to Lilleshall for young players in the country's National Age Groups.

How does the technology compare to previous temporary pitches?
This solution is very innovative because it is temporary, removable and repeatable. It is cutting edge technology and a patent has been filed to allow us to continue to develop this work. It is more flexible than the semi-permanent solution used in the Netherlands for the 2014 Hockey World Cups.

Twickenham Stoop preparations for the FIH Pro League

Why are England Hockey driving this?
England Hockey has continually pushed boundaries, in 2018 they held the Vitality Hockey Women's World Cup - the biggest women's-only sporting event the UK has ever seen - but they are not satisfied and we continually want bigger audiences for our amazing sport. The pitch technology is ground-breaking; ourselves and partners retain the IP and all being well it can be used by other nations, stadia and events in the future.

Who else has been nominated?
Catapult by Catapult Vector; Extreme E; INEOS 1:59 Challenge; RugbyX and W Series. The winner is announced on Thu 30 April.

How can I be at The Stoop matches in 2020?
Tickets go back on general sale on Thu 20 Feb. A ticket which includes two matches starts at just £5 children and £17.50 adults. Premium Experiences are on sale now - click here to find out more.