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Heidelberg Alla hopp! complex with sports surfaces from Polytan

Heidelberg Alla hopp! complex with sports surfaces from Polytan

Raum für Bewegung, Sport und Spaß

A total of 19 "Alla hopp! complexes" are to be built in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region with donations from the Dietmar Hopp Foundation. The opening ceremony for the fifteenth exercise and meeting place was held in Heidelberg, the birthplace of Dietmar Hopp, in October 2016. Four more complexes will follow in 2017. The Heidelberg complex is a landscaped park and boasts many sports and play areas fitted out with high-quality synthetic surfaces from Polytan. As soft-impact surfaces and synthetic turf they protect children from injury, while as high-quality tracks they provide an optimally cushioned base that is easy on the joints of amateur athletes.

The aim of the Dietmar Hopp Foundation is for the "Alla hopp! complexes" to provide freely accessible sports facilities in which people of all ages can take exercise, keep fit and relax as and when they choose. They are supervised by trained sports educators who are on hand to ensure that the equipment is used correctly and thus promote a healthy lifestyle. Every Alla hopp! complex lies within a landscaped park and is composed of three or four modules – themed areas – which overlap and are aimed at various age groups. The new exercise and meeting place in Heidelberg extends over an area of 13,600 square metres and was designed by Schelhorn Landschaftsarchitektur, a firm of landscape architects.

Division into four age-appropriate modules

Module 1 is an exercise course for all ages and levels. It is similar to circuit training in the sense that athletes can use different equipment to improve their mobility, coordination, stamina and strength. A 120-millimetre thick PolyPlay FS soft-impact surface from Polytan around the arch ladder protects the users from injury if they are unlucky enough to fall, for example. Polytan designed a plastic cover that can be lifted as and when required in order to provide access to the column foundations of the arch ladder for the annual inspection in compliance with DIN EN 1176.

Module 2 is the children’s playground and is especially suitable for youngsters up to the age of six. Children’s motor skills, sensory perception and cognition are developed here during the rough and tumble of play. There is a play pavilion with rotating elements, including a spinning bowl for example, for use when the weather is bad. Polytan installed a 14 x 14 m synthetic turf pitch as a base. The chosen system, LigaGrass Pro CoolPlus, is robust and easy to maintain thanks to its textured filaments and it feels pleasantly soft to the skin. Sand was selected as the filling, whilst the 30-centimetre thick elastic layer provides optimal cushioning for children to charge around.

Older children between the ages of six and twelve can climb, swing and balance in the "mountains", on the slackline or in the swing park of module 3 and thus improve their motor skills and mobility.
Module 4 is attuned to the requirements of the over-12s and is a demanding exercise area with a streetball court, weight training and climbing. The easy-to-maintain, DIN EN 1177 HIC-tested PolyPlay FS soft-impact surface from Polytan laid in the climbing playground has a cushioning action to protect climbers against injury. The surface is also water-permeable to prevent it from becoming waterlogged and a slip hazard when it rains.

The centrepiece of the complex: the track

A particular attraction of the Alla hopp! complex in Heidelberg is the 125 m long, 3.60 m wide running track with some undulating sections. It runs through the whole site, with the words "Start" and "Finish" replaced with "alla" and "hopp" written in big letters on the four lanes. The durable all-round PolyPlay S system by Polytan was chosen in order to provide the best possible surface for athletes. The synthetic surface is 40 millimetres thick and water permeable with a smooth but non-slip top layer. Its other attributes are high wear resistance and low maintenance costs. The seamless in-situ installation method allows the two-course surface to be installed without any problem on undulating and angled substrates as well. The undulating substructure in Heidelberg consists of pervious concrete and steel plates for lateral stabilisation.

Further sections of the complex were also fitted out with the PolyPlay FS soft-impact surface from Polytan – including the horizontal bar in the centre of the track, the "family carousel" and the "Mikado wood". The extensive facilities are rounded off by a ropeway, drinking water fountains, bicycle parking, an e-bike charging station, toilets with nappy-changing tables, a dog station and a flight of steps painted by children. The yellow Alla hopp! umbrella at the entrance is both an emblem and a highly visible meeting point for the whole complex.

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