Polytan at Cologne-Höhenberg Sportpark – TuS Köln rrh. 1874
New turf on old ground
The people of Cologne never did like to mess around. As early as Roman times, Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium was no less than the capital of the Germania inferior province. The settlement was named after Iulia Agrippina, daughter of Germanicus, wife of Emperor Claudius and mother of Emperor Nero, who would later rise to notoriety. In the Middle Ages, Cologne was by far the biggest city in the German-speaking realm and, with 12 towered gates and 52 defence towers, had the longest city walls in Europe, twice as long as those of Paris. During these times, Cologne had the word Sancta added to its name – placing it in the company of Jerusalem, Constantinople and Rome – which greatly influenced the construction of Cologne Cathedral. At 632 years, its construction took longer than planned, but resulted in what remains one of the biggest and most complete cathedrals built in the Gothic style – a fitting resting place for the bones of the Three Kings.
Today, Cologne is the most populous municipality in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and constitutes an important trade centre and economic and cultural city of international significance. What’s more: “Kölle” is a carnival stronghold, university city and sports hub that offers far more than just the famous Müngersdorf Sportpark, with the RheinEnergieStadion, the Lanxess Arena, one of the biggest multipurpose sports halls in Europe, and the German Sport University.
One of the most traditional sports clubs in the city is the “Turn- und Sportverein Köln rechtsrheinisch 1874 e.V.”, or TuS Köln rrh. 1874 for short. It was created by merging the Kalk and Cologne-Höhenberg gymnastics clubs, and today, is primarily engaged in children’s and youth sports, as well as popular and competitive sports. The programme includes track and field, football, tennis, swimming, aquafit, fitness, gymnastics and touch, a team sport similar to rugby, but without forceful physical contact or a high risk of injury.
The track and field department of TuS Köln rrh. 1874 has brought forth many successful athletes over the years, who have competed in German, European and world championships and even in the Olympics. The grounds of the 1,200-member club are located at Höhenberg Sportpark in the Höhenberg district of the city, on the right side of the Rhine. Its 15,000 m² accommodate an artificial running track, an artificial football pitch, a gravel football pitch, five tennis courts and, not least, a club restaurant with a beer garden shaded by old trees.
In the course of extensive renovations, TuS Köln rrh. 1874 became home to “Cologne’s first blue running track”, as the surface of the old track had worn down to the base layer in places. Instead of the usual red, the club wanted to use the official club colours and incorporate the club logo in one of the sections of the track. It also decided to have the old artificial turf professionally re-topped, a time and resource-saving option that makes old running tracks appear just like new. The chosen surface was our pour-coated, impermeable Rekortan M RT system in rainbow blue, which was applied as a fresh wear layer over the existing installation, without needing to remove and dispose of the old material. Polytan SMART, our intelligent system for digital performance diagnostics and precise time keeping, was also installed. This allows factors such as running time, speed, stride length, stride frequency and jump height to be precisely recorded and evaluated.
In addition, TuS Köln rrh. 1874 chose our LigaGrass Pro artificial turf for two sections of the track, which will primarily be used for the hammer throw and shot put, although it is suitable for multipurpose use. The LigaGrass Pro filament, with a triangular cross-section, ensures even greater fibre stability and gives the turf volume and structure. As the first crimped Polytan artificial turf system, LigaGrass Pro also features BiColour colouring.
The renovation of the sports facility in Cologne was initiated by TuS Köln rrh. 1874, and the construction work was overseen by Dipl.-Ing. Joachim Schulze of the local landscaping firm, “pslandschaft.de – freiraumplanung”.