Sports and Play Industry Association Gets Industry Launch at National Sports Convention

Australia’s peak body for sports construction, the Sports Contractors Association, has announced it has rebranded as the Sports and Play Industry Association (SAPIA). Association President, former elite tennis player Mark Edmondson, made the announcement on the first day of the National Sports Convention at Rosehill Racecourse, Sydney.

This is the second time the association has had a change of name after starting life in 1986 as the Tennis Court & Sports Field Builders Association. In 2004 its name changed to the Sports Contractors Association due to its membership having expanded to include equipment suppliers and professional consultants, in addition to builders and installers.

Mark Edmondson explained that the Association has now been joined by a group of the country’s leading playground surfacers who share the same goals as the sports contractors, i.e. to raise industry standards, educate the marketplace and create a marque that would help to differentiate dedicated providers from ‘fly by nighters’ or ‘cowboys’. With its combination of Sports and Play contractor members, SAPIA believes it is in a position to lead from the front on both sports and recreation construction matters, to advise, adjudicate and uphold industry best practice.

SAPIA has formed a strategic alliance with its UK counterpart SAPCA (who have agreed to be affiliate members of SAPIA) and have received permission to adapt SAPCA’s Codes of Practice for Australian situations.

SAPIA members, under the chairmanship of Grant Humphreys of testing institute AcoustoScan, have started drafting the Code of Practice for the Installation and Maintenance of Wet-Pour Safer Surfacing for Playgrounds. Other Codes will follow, and will be written from the builder or installer’s point of view.

Mark said, “We want to make sure that the best tennis courts, sports fields and play spaces are designed, built, installed and maintained to a high standard by people who have been trained to do the job right and who offer appropriate warranties. Working together as an Association, he said, our members are dedicated to delivering this outcome and ensuring that this is the future of Sports and Play in Australasia”.