Rugby Loftus Versveld

Loftus Versveld


Loftus Versveld bears testimony to the effectiveness of the Shelton Drainage System

During the 2000 rugby season, it was noted that the drainage system at Loftus Versveld stadium in Pretoria was not draining adequately.

Obie Oberholzer of Keep it Green, the contractor maintaining the turf at the stadium, and consultant Johan van Vuuren of Sports Turf Solutions analysed the problems as follows:

  • The soil is a loamy/clay which has low permeability and directly results in wet conditions.
  • There was variable root growth which was aggravated by poor drainage in certain areas.
  • Turf stayed waterlogged for long periods, which resulted in smearing during match events.
  • The playing surface was built in the late 1930’s and was built very flat with the lack of surface run-off resulting in ponding.

Obie Oberholzer and Hugo Kemp, stadium manager of Loftus Versveld decided that rebuilding was not an option but rather to improve the drainage in the off season using the Shelton Drainage System.

After the installation of the Shelton Drainage System 47mm of rain fell the evening before The first Super 12 game was played. Despite this the field drained well and the game was played as scheduled.

“It has never been as easy to grow rye grass as it is currently at Loftus. The field can be irrigated three times per day without waterlogging the new plants,” says Oberholzer.

The Shelton system has also been installed at:

  • Loftus Versveld
  • ABSA Stadium – East London