Durham, NC – Duke Field Hockey is the first collegiate team in the United States to call AstroTurf’s Poligras Tokyo GT (Green Technology) field hockey system their home turf. The university is installing the new state-of-the-art turf at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium in June, making the school a trailblazer for eco-friendly athletic surfaces while providing the student-athletes with a superior field they can feel proud to play on.
The field upgrade is part of a larger renovation project for Duke Field Hockey, made possible by the support of generous donors, including Susan Sabiston, widow of Jim Sabiston, successful businessman, father, and long-time supporter of Duke’s women’s sports. In addition to the new AstroTurf® field, the field house is being renovated and extended, giving the Blue Devils a brand-new locker room and common areas for meetings and team bonding.
But the stand-out feature for the Blue Devils will be the blue Tokyo GT turf. Specially designed for the Tokyo Olympics, it’s unlike every other artificial turf system out there. To help the Olympics meet its carbon-neutral goal, AstroTurf® drew upon a vast team of chemical engineers, testing materials scientists, construction engineers, and other experts from Europe, Australia, and the United States to create the ultimate eco-friendly field hockey turf.
AstroTurf’s lineup of field hockey Green Technology will again be on display at the Olympics in Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028.
With its unique construction, Poligras Tokyo GT will save water, preserve resources, and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. Instead of relying on traditional polyurethane and nylon to construct the synthetic grass filaments, AstroTurf® created a field that consists of 60 percent sugar cane – a sustainable crop that captures CO2 from the air.
“This will be the first Poligras Toyko GT field in the United States market and we’re excited it’s coming to Duke University,” said Melissa Vassalotti-Twist, AstroTurf’s Director of Field Hockey. “Bringing this green technology to the hockey market in the United States is a big deal. This is really the future of hockey.”
“We have about 60 of our green technology systems installed internationally, but this is the first one in the US. We’re excited to bring this technology to the field hockey community – providing Climate Positive Hockey.”
Paired with AstroTurf’s Tokyo GT surface will be a new 10mm e-layer paved in place for elite international and high-level collegiate hockey. The Blue Devils will benefit from playing on a field that offers safety, performance, playability, and longevity– for our people, for our planet.
Two-time ACC and NFHCA South Region Coach of the Year, Pam Bustin says of the upgrade, “I cannot wait to begin the next era of Duke True in our new home and upon our new turf!”
Added Twist, “Coach Bustin was an integral part of the decision process. She was not only interested in the Toyko GT product, but green technology going forward. Coach Bustin is a big advocate for reducing water usage and the green movement for our sport. Knowing this is the way of the future was key. With this, Duke will lead the way for the future of field hockey green surfaces in the United States. This forward thinking aligns with the FIH plan to be waterless by 2028.”
The newly renovated field will be ready for action when the girls’ field hockey team returns to campus for preseason training in August. The blue turf will also be at the forefront of the sport later in the year when Duke University hosts the 2022 ACC Field Hockey Championship this fall.
For athletes and sports enthusiasts, AstroTurf® has redefined the way the game is played. The brand offers advanced, multi-sport, and specialized synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies. A growing number of high schools, colleges, professional sports teams, and municipalities continue to select AstroTurf-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority, and safety. To learn more, visit AstroTurf’s website at www.astroturf.com.