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Mount Pleasant, TX – AstroTurf Corporation is pleased to announce the addition of Symmetry Turf, a prominent construction and installation specialist, of Mount Pleasant, TX to its vast nationwide network of synthetic turf distributors and installers. The addition of...
Welcome to our series of Five Minutes with… blogs that will feature interviews with AstroTurf’s staff of experts, partners, clients and friends. We hope you learn something about our industry and the great people associated with it. Today we talk with USA Field Hockey’s National Development Director, Sally Goggin
You serve as the National Development Director for USA Field Hockey, will you tell us a little about that role and what it entails?
My overall responsibility is to grow the game of field hockey in the United States. Over the past five years, well over 100,000 young athletes have tried field hockey as a result of “Grow the Game” initiatives and grassroots programming. Many in the United States don’t realize that field hockey is an Olympic sport for men and women and one of the most popular and widely played sports in the world. USA Field Hockey wants more people throughout the country to have an opportunity to enjoy this great game. It can be enjoyed by young and old, as it’s truly a sport for life.
The sport of field hockey is definitely gaining in popularity in the United States. Aside from the “Grow the Game” initiatives, what do you think is making the sport so attractive to athletes? There are many great reasons why the sport is growing. It can be enjoyed by people of all ages, it’s easy to learn, it’s affordable with minimal equipment needs, and it’s a safe sport with a low rate of serious injuries and concussions. Just because it’s safe doesn’t mean it is slow and boring. The game is really fast with ball speeds sometimes exceeding 75 miles per hour. On top of all of that, it’s great exercise too. Players can travel more than five miles in a single game.
We’ve talked about how field hockey is growing in the United States, what do you think is necessary to take that growth to the next level? Access to quality fields and the increased number of field hockey specific fields continue to play a key role in supporting and driving growth of the game across the United States. As more and more recreation departments and schools – both high schools and colleges – install fields, more and more people are having the opportunity to get in the game. According to USA Field Hockey CEO Simon Hoskins, “Quality fields are of critical importance to field hockey. AstroTurf has been and continues to be an important partner in supporting our growth and development initiatives and we can directly correlate field growth to growth of the sport.”
The USA Field Hockey Summit is coming up in March. Would you like to tell us a little about the event? AstroTurf has been the presenting sponsor of USA Field Hockey’s Summit since its inception. Attendees of USA Field Hockey’s Summit 2019, to be held March 15-17 in Baltimore, will experience on-field coach education opportunities and more on an AstroTurf field installed in the Summit hotel ballroom. In addition, USA Field Hockey will also be launching their American Development Model (ADM), a framework for instilling a lifelong love of the sport, and Tom Farrey, Executive Director of The Aspen’s Institute’s Sports & Society Program, founder of Project Play, will be the keynote speaker, leading a panel about growing the game of field hockey in the United States. Last year’s event was amazing and we have every reason to believe that the 2019 event will be even better.
Sally, it is very apparent that you love the sport and are very passionate about growing the game. Where does that enthusiasm come from? I do love the sport! I have been involved with field hockey as a player, a coach, a parent, a grassroots organizer, and now as a leader for the national governing body of the sport. I began playing field hockey at Deerfield High School in Illinois and went on to play at Dartmouth College where I was First-Team All-Ivy and team Captain. My passion comes from wanting to give kids the same opportunities that I had. It’s all about developing opportunities for athletes of all ages to experience the great game of field hockey as players, coaches, umpires and fans. I take great joy in serving our members and seeing the results of our “Grow the Game” initiatives. When you see how your efforts positively impact the lives of athletes, why wouldn’t I be enthusiastic?
USA Field Hockey Is the national governing body for the sport in the United States with more than 30,000 individual members and over 300 member clubs. The headquarters is in Colorado Springs, CO.
For athletes and sport enthusiasts, AstroTurf® has redefined the way the game is played. The brand offers advanced, state-of-the-art, multi-sport and specialized synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies. A growing number of high schools, colleges, professional sports teams and municipalities continue to select AstroTurf-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority, and safety.
Louisville, KY – For decades AstroTurf has dominated the Field Hockey market and this still holds true today. No greater example of this can be found than at the NCAA DI Field Hockey Final Four being played this weekend. The four remaining teams are all members of the AstroTurf family and the matches will even be played on an AstroTurf surface at the University of Louisville.
The teams are all amazing and are all AstroTurf customers from way back. Princeton plays their home matches on an AstroTurf 12 system on top of an ELayer®. The Princeton and AstroTurf relationship has definitely been a strong one as this is Princeton’s 3rd AstroTurf field in the last 35 years. In 2012, the Tigers took home the NCAA title while playing the finals at Old Dominion University on AstroTurf. Finalist Wake Forest won three straight titles from 2002 to 2004. They updated their AstroTurf surface with an AstroTurf System 90 just three years ago.
Two legendary coaches and hockey programs round out the remaining field. Coach Karen Shelton and the North Carolina Tar Heels are seeking their seventh national championship. AstroTurf built a new field for UNC on a new site this year. The Tar Heels finished the season undefeated on the new turf that comes from the AstroTurf Poligras line of products. Not to be outdone, Coach Missy Meharg and the Maryland Terrapins enter the tournament seeking their eighth national championship. The Terps will be updating their home field in 2019 as they have once again committed to the inventor of synthetic turf by selecting AstroTurf System 90.
A quick scan of the list of DI Field Hockey Champions over the last 35 plus years reveals an overwhelming majority of the winners and even the runners up are AstroTurf customers. On top of that, no one seems to be able to remember when the DI Championships were played on any surface other than AstroTurf. This most likely hasn’t occurred since the seventies.
“When we step back and just look at all of the great fields that we have installed at top-flight institutions, it does give us a great sense of pride and accomplishment,” said AstroTurf Director of Field Hockey Andy Belles. “It may seem like shameless bragging but we work very hard all year for our customers to get to this week and we are very excited to be a part of their successful seasons. We are very appreciative for the confidence and trust that our customers have placed in us.”
AstroTurf® has a long history of innovation and leadership in the hockey world. It’s the brand that changed the sport. And it’s the sport that has shaped AstroTurf’s history. AstroTurf’s specialized knitting equipment and manufacturing history has kept AstroTurf at the very top of the hockey world’s elite surfacing. It is the preferred surface for Field Hockey as demonstrated by every DI Final Four tournament being played on AstroTurf since the game left natural grass. To drive that point even further, AstroTurf has 29 fields in North America certified by the FIH… all other synthetic turf providers have 2 combined.
The NCAA semi-finals begin on November 16th at 1:00 PM with North Carolina going against Wake Forest. At 3:45 PM, Maryland will face Princeton. The championship will take place on Sunday, November 18th at 1:00 PM. No one knows who will win the championship yet, the only certainty is that it will be an AstroTurf family member and that the game will be played on a premium AstroTurf surface. Champions play on AstroTurf!
About AstroTurf®: For athletes and sport enthusiasts, AstroTurf® has redefined the way the game is played. The brand offers advanced, state-of-the-art, multi-sport and specialized synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies. A growing number of high schools, colleges, professional sports teams and municipalities continue to select AstroTurf-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority, and safety. To learn more, visit AstroTurf’s website at www.astroturf.com.
Why build just one field when you have the space for more? After all, there is no shortage of athletes waiting for some field time in our communities. Whether it is a parks department shuffling schedules to meet the needs of the youth teams in their city or it’s a destination complex organizing regional and national tournaments, the demand for multi-field and multi-purpose facilities is skyrocketing. AstroTurf has definitely been a part of their fair share of these type of complexes and we are happy to share some of the amazing facilities that we have had the honor to be a part of creating.
These are just a sample of the hundreds of multi-field projects that we have helped design, manufacture and install over the years. The demand for these type of facilities are at an all-time high right now so we should soon be able to share even more great field projects with you in the very near future. AstroTurf is proud to be able to provide high quality, premium playing surfaces designed with performance and safety in mind. New multi-field projects are being developed all across the country giving you and your family more opportunities to compete and lead active lifestyles. The stages are being set, so now go play!