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Play courts add charm to housing projects

Sports infrastructure is the latest sales point for builders to promote their projects, finds RAYAN ROZARIO

WHAT'S IN: A view of the Playpave tennis court installed at the Sreevatsa Gardens in Coimbatore — Photos: M. Periasamy and S. Siva Saravanan

TODAY'S BUILDERS and promoters are setting up projects that are no more confined to concealed wiring, solar water heating or cooking gas line. They have now gone a step further by making the best use of the available space in installing sports infrastructure keeping health in mind.

The people in the city are fast becoming fitness freaks. Clubs and gymnasiums are finding it difficult to accommodate the crowd. This, indeed, has come in handy for the promoters who are now looking at this as a sales point to promote their projects.

And, people do not mind paying through their nose as long as the quality is maintained. So, builders and promoters who are looking at offering quality sports infrastructure for its customers in their new projects, the right place is True Bounce.

True Bounce - Perks, are the biggest installers of sports surfaces in South India. They have been in the business for a decade and have completed more than 150 sports surfaces (mostly tennis courts) across the country.

Made in Australia

"We have an unassailable record in India for standard synthetic surface. So far, we have been concentrating only on clubs and tournament venues. Now, we are also looking at construction industry. We are targeting schools and colleges, apartments and star hotels for our growth," says Mr. Elango Ranganathan, its proprietor.

The company's product - `Playpave' synthetic surface is manufactured in Australia by Adcrete Industries and is similar to the surface in the Australian Open. "Our product is approved by Tennis Australia and is a popular sporting surface not only in Australia but also in the Far East," he adds.

Put to test

Elango Ranganathan.

He says the synthetic surfaces are tested in a country exposed to highest UV rays and harsh weather conditions. "This makes Playpave ideal for our conditions."

The biggest international ATP tour event - the Chennai Open - is held on the surface installed by True Bounce. It received a `Very Good' remark from top professionals like Pat Rafter, Boris Becker, Carlos Moya and Nadal, who have all played in it.

In fact, India's finest doubles pair Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes won their first professional doubles title in this event in Chennai.

Venues installed

The other venues of international competition installed by True Bounce are the Deccan Gymkhana in Pune (five courts), CCI, Mumbai (seven courts - venue of ATP Challenger events), Dharward District Tennis Association (venue of the $25,000 ATP Challenger event), to name a few.

The company has also installed badminton, basketball and volleyball courts. It recently installed six indoor badminton cushion courts at the Kumaraguru College of Technology.

Low maintenance

Mr. Elango deals with synthetic surfaces for beginners to advanced professionals.

"These courts are the right solution for today's demand. It is an ideal surface for housing complexes, sports centres and star hotels. Although the initial cost may be relatively high, the maintenance costs are negligible."

He says installing a tennis court may cost close to Rs. 8 lakhs, inclusive of the base, synthetic material and fencing. "It may look costly but you can recover it over a period of seven years. Always look at the utility value." A former Asian men's tennis champion, Mr. Elango says the imported material comes in liquid form. "We have a professional installation crew, trained by expert installers from Australia, to do the job."

The construction part includes base work. "It's just like laying a tarmac road, but with a lot more quality consciousness and more of specifications. It takes at least two months for the base work," he says.

The next comes the laying of the synthetic surface, which requires a week's work. True Bounce also does the lighting and fencing.

"We certainly can do the turnkey job like the fix-up so that it is ready for the client to use," he adds.

Surface types

There are two types of surfaces - regular/long-lasting and cushion - that the company has to offer. "A long-lasting surface gives a crisp and fine ball bounce and a cushion surface acts soft on the legs. Cushion layers can be added for high impact sports like basketball and badminton. The more the rubber the softer it is," says Mr. Elango.

He has been associated with tennis all his life. He had spent two decades outside the country (Europe and the U.S.) as a student on tennis scholarship, professional player and then as a coach to competition level players. Being exposed to varied surfaces, and aware of the need in India for such surfaces, True Bounce - Perks was formed.

True Bounce has been associated with the All India Tennis Association, which promotes national and international level competition venues. Contact Elango at 2580710 (Fax 2580708).

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