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YOUR FORUM FOR PLAY, SPORTS UND LEISURE AREAS

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The Future of Sports Facilities in Focus

The fifth "sportinfra" trade fair in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, was concerned with the current situation and future perspectives of sports facilities.

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On November 12th and 13th, 2014 the Hessian regional sports association (Hessische Landessportbund e.V.) welcomed participants to the fifth event in the sports facility trade fair and specialist seminar "sportinfra" in its sports school and training centre. The general motto of the event this year was "Sports facilities and exercise areas of 'Today' and 'Tomorrow' – meeting demands, energy efficient and financially acceptable. More than 1000 visitors – mainly representatives of community authorities and sports associations – and 65 exhibitors attended the two-day event in the Hessian metropolis and enjoyed a varied and comprehensive programme.

The first day's programme included seven different panels and two special events, all featuring a range of expert presentations. Topics of the individual panels were, among others: "Energy efficient renovation of sports facilities", "Safety management", "Exercise areas of today and tomorrow" and "Sport development planning". Particular interest was shown in the topic "Construction and operation of sports facilities in times of limited funds", a well-known and reoccurring problem for both clubs and community representatives alike. A series of expert speakers presented first-class panel discussions and included both theory and practical approaches.
The second day's programme at the "sportinfra" was no less varied that the first one. Focus topics were, among others, artificial turf pitches, swimming pools, drinking water hygiene and sustainability in sports facility construction. "The school yard as an exercise area" was also given its own panel discussion. Overall, the panels on both days were received with great interest and a positive echo from participants. The individual presentation series was rounded off with the opportunity to tour the nearby Commerzbank Arena, a major German football stadium where international matches are held.

At the trade fair, held parallel to the presentations, visitors could gain information from the different exhibitors about numerous innovations in and around sports facilities and exercise areas. Whether artificial turf or outdoor fitness equipment, flood lights or sport development planning, sports fields design, maintenance or filler granulate – a comprehensive offer of possibilities and novelties were presented at the trade fair and many renowned exhibitors took the opportunity to present themselves and their products. The trade fair and panel programme was rounded off by a "Frankfurt Evening" where visitors, participants and exhibitors were invited to enjoy Hessian culinary specialities with musical entertainment and sporting displays.

The fifth event in the "sportinfra" series was convincing with a comprehensive and varied programme, first-class speakers and a well-organised trade fair. It attracted many visitors from outside the Hessian region to Frankfurt and received a very positive echo. It is unique throughout Germany as a regionally organised sport-orientated event of this scope and at this level. The organisers were also able to draw a positive conclusion and planning has already started for the next "sportinfra" in 2016.

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Photo: Manfred Kasbauer, Landessportbund Hessen e.V.

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