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Game Changer: Avoid These 10 Common Mistakes in Outdoor Sports Facility Management
When it comes to designing, installing and maintaining a MUGA (Multi-Use Games Area) or outdoor sports facility, the decisions you take can pave the way for community engagement and recreation. They are also used to improve under utilised public open spaces. In this article, we cover some of the common pitfalls that might hinder the effectiveness of your MUGA, and how to avoid them.
1. Inadequate Maintenance
Neglecting upkeep of sports facilities is easy enough to do but can lead to wear and tear and safety issues. Keeping on top of maintenance can be tricky which is why it is best to opt for a high quality product. Here at Lightmain we are so confident in our MUGAs that we offer a 25 year guarantee on all of the structural steelwork associated with our Heavy Duty Multi-Use Games Areas.
2. Poor Facility Design
Poor layout and design choices can hinder the user’s experience and accessibility. This can result in less people using the area meaning it is not used to its fullest capacity.
When looking at the design of your MUGA, utilise an experienced design team who is willing to work with you to create the most suitable product possible for your space and needs, including the most suitable location within a designated area. This design experience allows us to create a bespoke design to fulfill each individual client’s needs.
3. Lack of Community Engagement
Involving the community in decision-making can be a fantastic way to gauge opinions. Failing to engage them can lead to unmet needs and under-used facilities. Something as simple as sending out a survey or holding a local committee meeting to discover what facilities and features the community would like to see can bear a very useful exercise. Involving local schools can be a great option too – after all, it is the kids who will be using the facilities the most!
4. Insufficient Lighting
Inadequate lighting can affect usability and safety during evening activities. Especially as the darker nights roll in, it plays a crucial role.
It is also important to consider wildlife when choosing lighting options as well as any nearby houses. It is possible to choose a lighting option that ticks the box without disturbing the local wildlife or residents. Using a specialist lighting consultant can often be the best bet.
5. Limited Accessibility
Ignoring inclusivity measures can exclude certain groups from using the facilities. Whilst it is not always possible to create a MUGA that works for everyone, it is crucial to think about the different people who will potentially be using the space. This is also why it is important to engage with the local community, so you can fathom out what the requirements of yours are.
6. Budget Constraints
Budgets can be a tricky topic!, We don’t all have endless budgets (even if we would like them!) but cutting corners can compromise the quality and durability of installations. It can sometimes be a better option to refurbish the area you already have or to work with a designer to work to your budget. It would also be worth considering implementing a design that can be added to over the years in order to spread out the costs.
7. Wrong Location
Choosing the right spot for your MUGA can be half the battle, but getting it right can help to increase usage and reduce the likelihood of vandalism. If you need guidance then a reputable company should be able to offer advice. Alternatively if you don’t have any options with the space available then a good designer can work with you to create the best outcome.
8. Picking The Wrong Sports
With so many options available now it can be difficult to decide which sports you should cater for. Football, Basketball, Netball, Tennis, Volleyball, Cricket are just some of the options regularly asked for. Selecting too many with the amount of different lines required can make them look cluttered, and confusing for users. Engaging with your local community can help you to gauge the kind of sports they would like to see, it could be that Basketball and Netball are played more than Football for example.
9. Ignoring Technological Advances
Neglecting modern technology can hinder the efficiency of operations. There are many innovations available like our rotating basketball and netball posts, which can also allow for even more sports to be played in the same area.
10. Ineffective Marketing
Poor promotion can result in underutilisation of sports facilities by the community. It may sound overly simplistic but it’s important to let the community know that the facility is there! You can also inform them of any potential usage limitations.
To summarise, the success of a MUGA lies not only in the quality of its installation but also in the strategic decisions made during its planning stage. By prioritising maintenance, community engagement, and innovative design, you pave the way for a facility that is not just a place for physical activity; but a catalyst for building strong community bonds. So, embrace these insights where possible, avoid the common pitfalls, and embark on a journey to elevate your outdoor sports facility into a thriving, inclusive space for all.