Rogers fencing develops new crowd safety for sports grounds

Oct 29, 2010

Copyright: Harrison Photography

Rogers Fencing in Draperstown has been assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to develop an innovative safety system for sports grounds. The new anti-crush barriers offer an effective solution for the problem of pitch invasions.

Rogers Fencing in Draperstown has been assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to develop an innovative safety system for sports grounds. The new anti-crush barriers offer an effective solution for the problem of pitch invasions.

The unique system of gated steel barriers was used for the first time at the recent GAA All-Ireland Football Final between Down and Cork on the stadium’s Hill 16.

The company, a market leader in the design, manufacture and installation of fencing for a broad range of commercial, industrial and sports applications, has been assisted by Invest NI in terms of R&D, new product development, export marketing and productivity.

Cathal Rogers, Managing Director of Rogers Fencing, commenting on the new crowd safety system, said: “We’ve been working with the GAA for a number of years on ground safety systems and were asked to come up with a system that would prevent pitch invasions, which can damage the playing surface, without creating additional crush risks.

“Our experienced design team came up with a solution based on a series of gates which could be opened in a matter of a few seconds to counter any crush problems.

“We agreed with the GAA to trial our concept on Hill 16, a stretch of 130 metres. The 3.7 metre high gated barrier was designed by the team in four days in consultation with the GAA at Croke Park. We manufactured it at Draperstown and installed it in just two weeks in good time for the All Ireland Football Final, the biggest match of the year at the ground. It proved to be an outstanding success. We are also developing a retractable system which can be raised quickly to prevent pitch invasions.

“Invest NI’s assistance for the business and in particular our development of innovative systems is immensely important and is enabling us to maintain a high level of investment in the innovative systems to ensure we stay ahead of competitors,” he added.

Des Gartland, Invest NI’s North West Regional Office Manager in Londonderry, said: “Rogers Fencing has developed a strong and successful track record in the design and manufacture of security fencing systems that meet the specific requirements of individual clients. We have assisted the company’s development through a range of initiatives.

“An impressive commitment to innovation for clients across a range of business sectors has resulted in the business being recognised as an industry leader in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. The development and installation of the new system at Croke Park, which saw the team at Draperstown working from 6am to 10pm over a period of three weeks demonstrates the flexibility and focus on customer service which underpins its operations.

“This is an entrepreneurial business with substantial potential particularly in markets outside Northern Ireland. The success that it is experiencing in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland provides a solid base for expansion in other European markets,” he added.

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