James Merlino, Minister for Sport, Recreation and Youth Affairs, was present to mark the commencement of work on the two synthetic grass pitches at Albert Park recently.

Mr Merlino said that the synthetic grass pitches were the first stage in the wider scheme of the project that will develop and improve elite and community sport facilities and participation in Albert Park.

The TigerTurf synthetic grass pitches are part of the $50.3 million State Sports Facilities Project that is set to transform the Lakeside Oval that will be available for use by local Soccer, Touch Football and ultimate Frisbee teams.

The synthetic grass pitches will provide a much needed facility that is capable of being used every day, providing a consistent and safe playing surface with the play characteristics of freshly watered natural grass.

Jo Prothero, TigerTurf’s Marketing Manager says ‘it is the first time I have heard of a TigerTurf synthetic pitch being used for ultimate Frisbee’.

Matthew Hui, President of the Victorian Flying Disc Association, said the new facilities will provide a great training ground for local, state and national teams in preparation for next years world championships in the Czech Republic.

The Australian men’s and women’s ultimate Frisbee teams are currently ranked in the top five in the world ahead of the likes of Germany, France and South Africa.

The vertically draining base of the synthetic grass pitches will allow rain water to be collected in the storm water drain and directed back to the lake.

The synthetic grass pitches are scheduled for completion in early 2010.