Schools often have an outdoor area for physical education, outdoor sports activities or as a space to host pupils during breaks and afternoon classes. These outdoor recreational spaces, which can be simple courtyards or actual multi-purpose sports facilities, are part of the school complex and, therefore, must provide students with the appropriate level of safety and quality, as required by various national regulations. In this article we will explore further the main aspects to consider when talking about safety in school playgrounds and outdoor sports facilities.
When designing or redesigning an outdoor sports area in a school context, it is essential to take certain aspects into account:
The quality and safety of a multi-purpose outdoor playground or school area is constantly monitored through regular maintenance activities and by checking the proper use of the sports facility. The checks include not only an analysis of the facility as a whole, but also investigate the condition of the outdoor sports flooring and equipment in the sports area.
As with the flooring, the equipment must also be checked for proper use and maintenance, in particular:
Flooring is a fundamental element when it comes to outdoor sports areas, especially in youth and amateur contexts, such as schools.
The most common surfaces in playgrounds and school areas dedicated to outdoor sports activities can be made of:
Baskets, handball or five-a-side football goals, gymnastics equipment, poles (e.g., to support the volleyball net): sports equipment in a school playground can come in various shapes and sizes.
These elements, although functional for the practice of certain sporting disciplines, can be a real source of risk, linked to impacts, falls or unintentional tripping.
However, many accidents and injuries can be avoided if the sports equipment installed meets all the safety and quality requirements under European legislation.
To verify that this is the case, it is essential to ask the manufacturer for a certificate of conformity, issued by an accredited laboratory (external to the manufacturer) and which must accompany the product's technical file.
It is not enough for a piece of equipment to be designed according to the regulations; it must have passed independent tests to prove its safety.
Are you planning a school multi-sports area or would you like to know more about our flooring for outdoor multi-sports facilities? Contact MONDO to speak to a technical sales consultant.