AstroTurf: Mumbai's new playing surface

 Mumbai
AstroTurf: Mumbai's new playing surface

What is AstroTurf?

AstroTurf is a brand of an artificial playing surface. The concept was to replicate natural grass and give players the perfect field. The origin of this brand dates back to the 1960s. On June 28, 2016, AstroTurf announced that it would be bought by SportGroup, a German-based sports surfacing company. The acquisition would form the largest sports surfacing company in the world.

How has it changed playing football in Mumbai?

Earlier, playing football meant gathering 10 people and playing at a nearby ground or park. But it wasn’t always easy as that ground or park would have other people playing some other sport. So you weren’t guaranteed playing time. Besides, the city doesn't have those many playing grounds with a decent playing surface. Chances of you picking up an injury because of the poor field conditions is higher than a real footballing injury.Now, in the last few years, a number of AstroTurf and grass pitches have been set up for football fanatics. It provides you with a perfect playing surface with floodlights, refrigerated drinks, changing areas and so on.

Where are these turfs?

All over the city! (Churchgate, Andheri, Dadar, Ghatkopar, Wadala and the list goes on). They are everywhere. There’s a dedicated website which lets you book your turf online. Visit http://bookmyturf.com/

The catch

You have to pay to play. Average cost per person to play for an hour is Rs 150 and could go higher at some locations as well.

Summary

It is impressive that the city is getting a platform for sports but what about the people who cannot afford it? Paying around Rs 150-300 for an hour of football isn’t light on everyone’s pockets. We need more playing surfaces like these turfs but accessible to everyone and anyone.

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