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    The London 2012 Olympics may seem like a lifetime ago, but this month, the world’s greatest athletes will return to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. The IAAF World Championships run from the 4-13 August, while the World Para Athletics Championships took place in July. The IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) also hold an indoor championships, and this is where it all starts to get a little confusing. With the Olympics, Paralympics, Winter Olympics, European Championships and Commonwealth Games, to name just a few, there are a lot of athletics competitions to keep up with. Here is our handy guide to distinguish the differences between them all….

    athletes running through water inside a stadium

    Olympic Games

    The most well renowned sporting event in the world, the Olympics began in 1896 in Athens. Over 200 nations now compete in the games, with over 33 events scheduled for the 2020 games in Tokyo. Only five sports have featured in every games since its inauguration; swimming, athletics, cycling, fencing and gymnastics. The IOC (International Olympic Committee) chooses the host cities and sets the rules for competing, and as we know, the games take place every four years.

    olympic stadium facts written on athletics track

    Some facts about the stadium and events from 2012


    Paralympic Games


    The Paralympics are held every four years alongside, and in the same location as, the Olympic Games. The first official Paralympic Games, no longer open solely to war veterans (as was the case since 1948), was held in Rome in 1960. 400 athletes from 23 countries competed at the 1960 Games. The International Paralympic Committee was founded in 1989, some 95 years after the IOC. Like with the Olympics, the next tournament will be in Tokyo in 2020.


    Winter Olympics


    As the title suggests, the Winter Olympics are the opposite to the summer version. Also held every four years, but alternating with the summer games since 1992, these started in 1924 and were originally known as ‘International Winter Sports Week’. The events are obviously more suited to the conditions, with skiing, bobsleigh, figure skating and everyone’s favourite, curling, on the agenda. These games are also organised by the IOC, with the next being held in Pyeongchang in South Korea next year. There are also of course a Winter Paralympics, held at the same time and place as the able-bodied games, with the first being held in Sweden in 1976.


    Commonwealth Games


    Different to the above competitions, the Commonwealth Games are not inclusive events. Again, the clue is in the name – only countries from the British commonwealth compete in these quadrennial games. First held in 1930, the games are overseen by the Commonwealth Games Federation, which control the sporting programme and selects the host cities. Although there are 52 members of the Commonwealth of Nations, 70 teams participate in the Commonwealth Games, as a number of dependent territories compete under their own flags. The games were last held in 2014 in Glasgow and the next one will be in Australia in 2018. Liverpool and Birmingham are currently prospective candidates for the 2022 bid. 


    World Championships


    Held every two years as of 1991, the IAAF World Championships began in 1983 in Helsinki, in which an estimated 1,300 athletes from 154 countries competed. By the 2003 Paris championships, it had grown to 1,907 athletes from 203 countries. Unlike the Olympics, the World Championships are purely based around athletics, AKA track and field events, such as sprinting, long distance running, javelin, discus, etc. This incidentally was where Usain Bolt ran the fastest ever 100m, in 9.58 seconds, in Berlin in 2009. The key point is that this competition is held outdoors, unlike…


    World Indoor Championships


    Also run by the IAAF, these are held every two years in between the World Championships as of 2004, but first started in 1985. They also revolve around athletics based sports, the major difference obviously being that they are held indoors. There are also differences in that there are fewer disciplines indoors than outdoors, the track is smaller, distances are shorter, e.g. the 100m becomes the 60m, and there are fewer throwing events. The next event will take place in Birmingham next year.


    European Championships


    Finally, there are the European Championships, organised by the European Athletics Association. First held in in Turin in 1934, they took place every four years until 2010 when it turned into a biennial event. They are essentially a smaller, exclusively European version of the World Championships. The amount of events and participating nations have doubled since its inauguration, while the amount of athletes taking part has multiplied by more than six. Berlin will host the next competition in 2018 – incidentally, Great Britain has never hosted the Championships.

    These are just seven of a number of athletics competitions which take place around the world. There are also an indoor version of the European Championships, while every other continent also have their own exclusive championships. It seems there’s a lot more than just the Olympics every four years for athletes to focus on!

    Want to get your children into sport? Read more about Tennis and Athletics in our previous blogs. 

    For more information on the current IAAF World Championships being held at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, visit






  2. Grass roots to the grass courts of SW19

    An Ace for British Tennis?

    It’s that time of the year again. The grandstand theme tune, the lush green grass, the extremely overpriced strawberries and cream, and above all, some top-class tennis. The world’s best grass tournament is upon us, with the likes of Murray, Djokovic, Konta and co all showcasing their brilliance at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. Wimbledon is, without doubt, one of the standout events in the British sporting calendar, but it’s easy to forget that such sports don’t just exist at the elite level.


    There are numerous tennis clubs up and down the country which provide opportunities for amateurs, particularly children, to re-enact those immaculate drop-shots or serves-and-volleys which they watch being done so masterfully on their TVs. 23,000 British tennis courts are many peoples’ versions of Wimbledon’s Centre Court. There may not be ball-boys waiting on you hand and foot, or dozens of cameras enabling you to challenge the umpire’s call, but it’s still tennis, and it’s here where the Federers and the Williams’ of the game are born.


    How are we ensuring the grass is greener in the UK?

    What is being done at grassroots level to ensure there isn’t another 77 year wait for a Briton to win Wimbledon? Well, things are happening at the very height of the sport, with the Lawn Tennis Association leading a £250m investment to improve grassroots facilities. The ‘Transforming British Tennis Together’ initiative aims to make the sport more accessible by, over the next 10 years, raising the number of covered and floodlit courts by 50%, refurbishing facilities and making courts easier to book online.


    The initiative has been tried out on a trial basis in 10 towns and cities, including Sheffield, where £1.5m was invested – the number of people playing tennis there has risen by 54% over the last three years. The more people that play, the more chance of finding a star.


    The policy comes exactly four years on from a report which found that participation in the game had fallen, with the threat of a £10.3m loss in funding. However since then, the face of British tennis, Andy Murray, has won Wimbledon twice and been named Sports Personality of the Year three times. It seems the sport is on the up, but is that the full story and what can we do to help our younger players?


    rhia and tennis net and with tennis hat



    Somewhat against the modern flow, the broadcasting of Wimbledon has remained on the BBC, meaning it is accessible to all who want to watch it. The vast majority of live football, cricket, golf, etc, have been restricted to Sky viewers only for a number of years, which has raised concern over the sports’ accessibility to the public. We spoke to Jordan Miles, Senior Coach at Radlett Lawn Tennis and Squash Club

    “Wimbledon is the time of year all coaches and clubs need to capitalise on introducing people into tennis. Tennis takes over the BBC and is all over the media. People flock into park courts with their rackets and try to emulate Nadal, Federer and Murray.
    The challenge a club has is that many people are intimidated entering a tennis club if they have never played before so the key is to try and welcome people in with taster and social sessions. The LTA set up initiatives, such as Tennis for Kids, whereby clubs can receive funding to ensure are they are able to make them happen” Jordan Mliles


    There are some clubs which reach out to schools and there are other clubs which are more happy to ensure their adults receive their regular court time and therefore do not see juniors as an important section of the club. I would advise parents who are looking to get their children into tennis to look for clubs which welcome juniors through initiatives and activities. You can get an idea of this through communicating with the Head Coach of the club.” Jordan Miles



    what are the barriers to securing stars of the future?


    The two obstacles I have found in getting youngsters engaged in tennis are football and education. Football is our national sport and most boys would spend most of their time of a football pitch if they could. Education is very important.
    However, in this country we drive education so hard with constant exams, homework and after school clubs. This leaves children with very little time to take up a sport like tennis, especially if they wish to go from grass roots to elite level. Ria Ferguson is a young tennis player who is 9 years old and has already competed in Europe and America. In order to reach her high standard of play, Ria has put in around 8 hours per week, which is not realistically possible for 99% of children unless they have support from their parents and school” Jordan


    “She loved tennis from the first ball she hit at aged 3 and has had to develop a work ethic to push herself and learn during her lessons. For any child, competing can teach so many important life skills, such as dealing with failure”. 


    Perception vs Reality


    PE Teacher and mum to 9 year old Callum, Clare Moore says that one of the biggest issue for the game is the perception that it is still an elitist sport. Callum started playing age 4 after his mum encouraged him to take advantage of facilities at David Lloyd, Lincoln. She was motivated by the knowledge the game would improve his agility, hand eye co-ordination, fine motor skills and strength, Clare was very keen and supportive of his efforts, however she admits that the facilities of the club made it easy for her and in-fact had she not been a member of David LLoyd she probably wouldn’t have pursued this sport. 

    Callum has now been selected for Lincolnshire under 10s and continues to invest in his game at DL!


    The future

    The game, set and match can only truly be won if we merge accessibility to the sport and elite level success. The new funding from the LTA will aid the growth, creating opportunities for amateurs and young, aspiring players to get on the long road to SW19.


    Are you a local club reading this article? Please let us know your thoughts and we will gladly include a link to your site.

    Do you need information about your tennis surface? Contact us for more information on our FlooraBounce Range.

  3. A Parent’s Guide to… Getting your Kids into Sport!


    It’s a well-known fact that obesity is one of the main issues currently affecting our society, especially among children. A 2016 survey showed that a third of 10-11 year olds and over a fifth of 4-5 year olds are overweight or obese. Common sense tells us that this is caused by children eating too much and/or not getting enough exercise. Simply cutting down on in-between-meals snacks or even walking or cycling to school can have a significant impact on a child’s health and fitness. However, while the child is still young, it is the responsibility of parents to keep them in the right shape, and what better way to do that than to get them involved in the best exercise of all – sport.




    What organisations out there are helping?

    Grown men and women will tell you that some of the best times of their lives were spent running around a football pitch with their mates on a Sunday morning or darting up and down a swimming pool after school, and ultimately a lot of today’s youngsters are missing out. However, there are a number of organisations who fund and support sports clubs for children to play for – now it’s your turn to make these organisations’ work worthwhile.

    Young couple jogging in park at morning. Health and fitness.


    Sport England, for example, are an organisation who aim to increase the number of people doing sport and activity – no matter their background, ability or age. They have a set investment programme until 2021 aimed at children from the age of five to increase their basic competence and enjoyment. There are also plans in place to create/improve facilities, increase the number of volunteers in grassroots sport and develop more local interests to ease accessibility to sport. Find out more about their Family Fund.

    Bishams Abbey is one of the 3 National Sport Centres owned by the Sports Council – read more about what they offer here:

    Another example, and one aimed directly at young people, is the Youth Sport Trust. They are a national charity who aim to brighten children’s and teenager’s lives through the delivery of school sport and PE, looking specifically at their wellbeing, leadership roles and achievement opportunities. Other agencies include Living Sport, Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, Street Games and many more.


    How can you help these organisations succeed?

    child doing sport


    So, what can parents themselves do? While the organisations and funds are there, it is equally important for parents to make the most of the opportunities that are available.

    1) Encourage.

    Talk to your kids about joining a sports club. Take them to watch a local sporting event to see if they’re interested, and go and watch and support if they do play in a team. If you’re not sure where to start contact your local sports charity eg Active Lincolnshire or Sheffield City Trust. Google ‘sport’ and your city!

    “We encourage people, particularly children whilst they’re young, to try a variety of different things and not to worry if they don’t like what someone else likes. Clubs, leisure centres and sports providers hold free taster sessions for lots of sports and activities. The key is to find something you enjoy doing.” Janet Inman, CEO Active Lincolnshire

    2) Get involved.

    Take them down the park for a kick-around with a ball or to the local swimming pool/climbing wall/running track. Give them a helping hand!

    3) Put your hand up.

    If there isn’t a team nearby that your child can play for, why not make one? There wouldn’t be such a thing as grassroots sport if it weren’t for volunteers, so make a difference by providing the opportunity for children to enjoy sport.

    4) Help out where you can.

    Even if you don’t have the time to manage a team or club, every little helps. Painting a changing room wall or marking out a pitch can go a long way.

    5) Do your research.

    Find out about the opportunities available for your children. Like Sport England, there are a number of organisations there to promote sport and activity. Eg Active Lincolnshire, London Sport, Sport Birmingham

    6) Test the water.

    Try out different things with your child. Just because they may not like football, for example, it doesn’t mean they won’t want to try another less common sport.


    child playing in sunshine on soft surface


    Just how important is it for your kids to exercise?

    School sport and PE lessons are one of the easiest ways for children to access physical activity. Peter Beighton, Headmaster at Branston Community Academy near Lincoln, says keeping active is crucial even for day-to-day life.

    “Taking part in sport and exercise is vital for any young person, whether it be enjoying PE as part of the school curriculum or joining an extra-curricular club, or even being part of a club outside of school. At Branston, we are always encouraging our students to not just take part in physical activity, but to also enjoy it. On a personal level I have found truth in the ‘healthy body, healthy mind’ cliché after seeing my health and work stamina increase as I decided to get myself to a reasonable level of fitness in my 30s. That experience was definitely part of the reason we have started Herons gym on site as a commercial enterprise managed by the school (and it’s doing well so far).”

    Jon Foot, who is Head of PE at Branston, emphasised the role of teachers in keeping children physically active.

    “Being Head of PE means I have a big responsibility in making sure students both take part in, and make the most out of, sporting activity. Whether that’s doing cross country in PE lessons or encouraging them to join a club outside of school hours, it’s important they are aware of the benefits that physical activity brings. Their physical, mental and social well-being can all be improved by doing sport and they should always be encouraged to engage in whatever sport interests them.”

    And it’s not just teachers who can have big impact…..

    lindum county cricket kid and coach

    Volunteers are fundamental to any grassroots sport. One of these is Wes Shelbourne, who manages his son’s junior team, as well as the Academy side, at Lindum CC in Lincoln.

    “Being a lifelong cricket fan and recreational player, I was delighted when my son showed an interest in the game. He really benefited from joining Lindum CC and playing junior cricket. I felt it was important to give something back to the club so I volunteered to help with coaching junior players. It’s wonderful, although hard work, to see youngsters develop their cricket skills along with life skills that sport in general, and cricket in particular, offer.”

    ||News Just In ||


    jessica ennis vitality sunday times

    Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill is working with Vitality Insurance to bring you Vitality Move, a brilliant idea and way to get you moving as a family. “Each of the 2 events bring you a big day out with music and running at its heart. There will be lots of great things for families and committed runners to get involved with from 1 mile fun-runs, family relays to the more traditional 5k and 10k distances – all themed to music designed to keep you moving by DJ Trevor Nelson” Vitality Move

    The official charity is Diabetes UK and you can set up a just giving page here.

    There are endless things you can do to encourage your child to get involved in sport, so get cracking! Aside from the obvious health and fitness benefits, taking part in sport and activities are a great way to build relationships and broaden your child’s social skills and influence. It’s win-win.

  4. Bisham Abbey – a sporting paradise.


    Bisham Abbey is one of Sport England’s National Sports Centres and is home to a number of National Governing Bodies of Sport. Bisham Abbey provides excellent facilities to Britain’s leading sports men and women, and aims to provide a world class experience. It is one of three National Sports Centres run on behalf of Sport England and is used as a residential training camp base for athletes and teams and community groups alike

    The building itself is stunning and dates back to the 13th Century having been home to both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. 

    As a centre of excellence for not only the country’s leading sportsmen and women, but also the local community, Bisham Abbey provides a state of the art sporting and non-sporting facilities.

    Their sporting facilities include:


    – Football pitches

    -Hockey pitch with training D’s

    -Gym split over 2 levels with extensive free weights, cardio and resistance machines

     These images show the recent refurbishment of the Gym floor using Trade Partners FlooraBounce range.


    English Institute of Sport

    The Abbey is home to the English Institute of Sport Performance centre providing training facilities for a range of Olympic medal winning athletes.

    The strength and conditioning facilities are designed specifically for elite athletes and deliver optimum performance across a range of sports.

    After a £7million investment from Sport England the facility was opened by Helen Grant MP, Minister for Sport,  who said: “Bisham Abbey is an iconic venue in British sport. Its facilities have helped many of our elite athletes to prepare and train before representing their country in major sporting competitions.

    This impressive redevelopment project, funded by Sport England National Lottery money, will continue to make sure our athletes remain in the best possible condition to be successful. I’m also really pleased to see that it will offer excellent sporting facilities to be used by the community.”


    Bringing the English Sport Logo to Life using Trade Partners FlooraBounce Range


    Bisham Abbey isn’t just for the elite athlete, many of the facilities are open to the community, find out more about their classes and how to book here.

    For more information about our FlooraBounce range and how we can assist with your flooring needs please contact us here


  5. Playgrounds and Pints – a guide!

    Did you spend a fortune entertaining the kids during the summer holidays? Well you’re not alone. With the average cost of this 6 week ‘break’ coming in at £1400 many of us are looking at ways to entertain for free!

    We have combined our love and knowledge of playgrounds with our own personal passion of the ‘odd’ pint, scoured some of the prettiest villages around us to deliver our verdict on some cheap and cheerful days out with the kids!

    Before embarking on our tour we asked some real experts what they think makes a great playground….



    Take 4 children, 2 adults, a sunny sunday and some of the nicest villages in lincolnshire….





    This is a really extensive playground that also has a basketball and football zone encased by railings so everyone can play without interruption. The adjacent and sizeable dog field and parking make this a fabulously easy spot to abandon the car and enjoy the village of Wellingore. A short stroll away is the newly refurbished Red Lion Inn, a FreeHouse it has a parking, a gated outside area complete with artificial grass section for the kids. Children are looked after inside just as well with baby changing, kids menu’s and generally very tolerant approach to the little people! 



    A great playground with really easy access. The equipment has been well maintained and there is a good variety. The nearest pub is the Hare and Hounds, very convenient as just across the road. The outside area makes it a good place for a pit stop but a full Sunday lunch with all the family may be more challenging. Booking is advisable.  Just a little further down the road is the Fulbeck Craft Centre and a treasure called the ‘Tack Room’. This place does delicious food to a very high standard, fabulous coffee and ice-cream to die for all wrapped up with super friendly service. Fulbeack is situated on the A607 between Lincoln and Grantham.




    Arguably the cutest playground in a really quaint and beautiful setting. Next to the cricket club there is a lot of green space to run around if for some reason the equipment doesn’t suit! Parking is a little tricky so you might want to leave it near the pub where there is more space. The Red Lion Inn, has some great reviews for dining on Trip advisor and they do accommodate children by offering smaller portions, but no children’s menu as such. They also have a lighter bites option along with friendly staff and comfortable interior. 




    Two playgrounds for you here. Firstly at Jubilee Park, next to the caravan site and lido and secondly at the pub itself. Jubilee park playground has been around for ages and as such is in need of some TLC. They are currently raising funds to help renovate it, if you’d like to donate visit here. That said it still has ample stuff to do, even the crowd pleasing zip-wire which is massive! Parking is easy and the whole thing is gated as you would expect. A stroll or 2 minute car ride away into the high street, where there is more than sufficient parking, is the Inn at Woodhall SpaThis place is perfect for families who don’t want to compromise on decent fayre and have time to enjoy their food. The menu is aimed at families and there are more choices that you can imagine,  but to top it off they have a wonderful outdoor play area, again gated and just perfect for kids of all ages.

    “You can have your pint and drink it!”




    The Scopwick playground is a hidden gem, literally. Down a hidden path you’ll find a beautifully maintained outdoor space with a gorgeous and very large trim trail.  The Royal Oak is a short walk away but a good place to leave the car if you’re planning on being a punter. The pub is under new management and goes the extra mile to cater for children, menu’s, games and so on. This was the last park on our trail which gave us some lovely shots as the sun went down. Situated in Vicarage Lane, Scopwick.


    Some final words from the CHILDREN….. un-scripted and un-edited!



    Are you designing or updating a playground or sport surface? Contact us about our FlooraBounce Range should you need any further information.

    Looking for more parks? Visit here


    Contact Us
  6. Another great Playground Transformation

    MeadowBank Playground in dorking gets a great transformation

    We were delighted to supply the rubber bark (sometimes known as rubber mulch or FlooraBark) surface in a mixture of Brown, Green & Blue areas to Mole Valley Council for their recreation ground.  The area surfaced was approximately 700sqm in total.

    As you can see, Meadowbank Playground has had a complete transformation, making it an absolute delight for children and families.


    Watch a video of the of MeadowBank after the Playground Transformation


    We supply clients directly as well as the trade so if you are looking for materials for your playground, golf club, nursery, athletic track or other sports related surface please get in touch. You can find out more about playground design here and our FlooraBounce Range here.


    Contact Us
  7. The fastest man on earth

    The premier role of the 100m dash

    Of all the sporting pinnacles, highlighted again by the 2016 Rio Olympics, it is the straightforward, 0-to-100 sprint that not only creates Champions but also Legends, a factor that is not merely human but aided by science.

    While the earliest competitive sprinters may have grown from the gladiators’ arena, where the ability to out-run a lion restrained by 99-yards of linked chain was a crucial means of survival, for more than two Millennia, it is the timing element that created a ‘thumbs-up’ for both emperors and spectators. Although the first one may have been accidental, pitting half-a-dozen potential meals against each other soon became a spectacle.

    Over the years, as methods of measurement advanced from the turn of a sand-timer to the subtle click of a Swiss-made clock, and distances were altered from an Egyptian man’s nose-to-thumb-of-his-outstretched-arm (a yard) to a well-rounded metre, very little else changed. Lads (and their dads) of the 1960s revelled in the weekly comic ‘The Victor’, most especially at the antics of ‘Alf Tupper – The Tough of the Track’, who served to make sprinting ever more accessible across little more than two illustrated pages.

    TheVictor cover

    Yet, his comic diet of fish and chips was hardly conducive to ultimate fitness and was a country-mile apart from precisely-weighed bowls of pasta and isotonic drinks consumed today…even though some athletes might use other, less acceptable means to enhance their performance. However, it was clear that providing energy for the human machine was critical to shaving thousandths of a second from a 0-100m sprint time.

    Every bit as crucial as the benchmark 0-60mph (0-100kph) acceleration time of the world’s most renowned sportscars, the combination of potency, allied to design efficiency is what creates the banner headlines. Yet, human endeavour remains the ultimate aim and the one that is the most revered. As disabled athletes can prove, carbon-fibre limbs can be a means-to-the-end but, what could make the quantum leap to a sub-10.0s seconds’ sprint time?

    Running shoes were a starter and, while ‘spikes’ can provide enhanced grip for the cross-country, endurance runner, it is the scientific developments that reduce impact loading for the on-track sprinter. Cushioned soles not only redistribute stresses on the runner’s skeleton but ever-lighter shoes, featuring fewer protective elements also save energy.

    When US athlete, Carl Lewis, became an early sub-ten-seconder (9.86s), in the mid-1980s, technology was also turning to running track surfaces. Natural surfaces, such as grass, clay, or cinders, are very weather-dependent. Their relative ‘softness’ may be easier on runners’ joints but resistance would make runs slower, a factor that both teams and spectators would find intolerable.

    The first synthetic tracks were made from Asphalt and developed in the 1960s however it is highly weather dependent and inconsistent in its performance. Modern synthetic surfaces, such as those supplied by Trade Partners, a Dow Chemical Company approved distributor of VORAMER MR polyurethane binder, offer both porous and cushioned benefits as well as being durable and environmentally friendly.

    Creating protection from injury also ensures that the superstars, of which the greatest is without doubt the much-loved, admired and approachable Jamaican athlete, Usain Bolt (9.59s), can perform their ultimate tasks in all conditions, on the best tracks in the world, for even longer.


    Ultimately, it is a case of, if you can’t beat them, join them. From running from lions to becoming lions, the Kings of the Track rely on modern technology that aids but does not detract from their pinnacle performances.

    Want to know more about our products for tracks, pitches and playgrounds? Read about our FlooraBounce Range and EPDM Rubber Granules, that are available in a variety of colours. 

  8. EPDM Rubber Granules transform Tattershall Play Barn

    Trade Partners International Ltd are suppliers of the FlooraBounce Range of EPDM rubber granules and polyurethane binder to the sports and play surfacing industry. Based in Nottinghamshire, we supply materials to surfacing trade as well as end users all over the UK and abroad.

    A recent project involved a leisure facility that is almost on our doorstep and with young families is very close to our heart. The play barn at Tattershall Farm Park has undergone a transformation using EPDM rubber granules and polyurethane binder from our extensive FlooraBounce range.  


    This installation of EPDM rubber granules took place over 2 days and had to be poured in sequence to achieve the final design. The different coloured EPDM rubber granules can be seen being mixed and installed to the customer specifications below:



    Our EPDM rubber granules come in a range of fifteen colours that can be used to for a variety of applications such as playground safety surfacing, landscaping and walkways. Please contact us for more information on 0115 822 9473 or email 





  9. Digging Deep with Rubber granules!

    A recent call from Trench 1 led to a pit stop at Trade Partners HQ by Gemma Ingason, owner, to collect 2 bags of EPDM rubber granules! This may be one of our smallest orders ever but it yielded bags of enthusiasm and we were delighted to be involved. 

    Gemma needed a product to help with a project where some primary school children were ‘digging deep’ and EPDM rubber granules were the perfect solution.



    Trench 1 create opportunities for children to learn about archaeology and use real artefacts to bring everything from the Stone Age to the Viking’s to life. These pictures show how our EPDM granules were used as part of a ‘dig’.


    Rubber granules used in archaeology dig



    Trade Partners’ rubber granules are a brilliant medium for children to  dig in when they are learning about archaeology. The bright colours, combined with a new texture, really engaged the children and as they’re  normally used for playground surfacing, they are non-toxic. I’ve been using them in a church where they provided good, clean fun”. Gemma Ingason, Trench 1


    For more information on rubber granules from our FlooraBounce range please contact us. 

  10. Risk and Reward – Child’s Play!

    HOw play is changing for children

    The development of Impact Absorbing Safety Surfacing for children’s playgrounds over time has gradually reduced the number of impromptu visits to A&E for many parents. Are we allowing our children enough freedom to take risks and gain rewards as they play? 


    According to eminent psychologists and some parents, allowing children to play and make errors of judgment as they do so, is all part of the growing-up process. To indulge in rough and tumble, alone, or in groups, allows them to problem-solve and relationship-build in environments that broaden their life skills.

    children love to play in risky ways—ways that combine the joy of freedom with just the right measure of fear to produce the exhilarating blend known as thrill”  Peter Gray Ph.D.

    The catalogue of broken bones, twisted joints and long-term cranial injuries can scarcely be described as tolerable, despite evidence to suggest that young bones fracture and heal with surprising ease. We no longer live in the 1940s, when playground surfaces were either grass or concrete. According to RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) over 40,000 injuries occur to children on old-style playgrounds annually.


    trade partners image of girl at old playground


    While it is fair to suggest that we cannot be on guard at all times and that accidents will happen, when adventure and discovery are guiding a child’s natural sense of direction, it is equally fair to suggest that wrapping them in cotton-wool might turn them ‘soft’ and never stretch their imaginations. Such is the conflict faced by the parent of today, where even the age-old and much-beloved practice of ‘playing conkers’ demands padded gloves and eye-protectors…mostly to avoid 3rd-party insurance claims.


    Over the past 60 years we have witnessed, in our culture, a continuous, gradual, but ultimately dramatic decline in children’s opportunities to play freely, without adult control, and especially in their opportunities to play in risky ways.  Over the same 60 years we have also witnessed a continuous, gradual, but ultimately dramatic increase in all sorts of childhood mental disorders, especially emotional disorders” Psyhcology Today


    Changing the way they play.

    Times have changed. The prospect of ill-judged gymnastics in the local park resulting in costly long-term medical care have been reduced, with the arrival of impact absorbing safety surfacing. While woodchip and even turf possess some absorption and rebound qualities, the concept of tailoring surface thickness to suit critical fall height and surface area to suit fall zone in-situ, has resulted in a sea-change in safety terms and hopefully the parent’s approach to their child’s play. 



    “Children are highly motivated to play in risky ways, but they are also very good at knowing their own capacities and avoiding risks they are not ready to take, either physically or emotionally. Our children know far better than we do what they are ready for.” Peter Gray Ph.D


    The construction of wet-pour safety surfaces for playgrounds, where play equipment is in place, will in most cases consist of a base layer of FlooraBounce recycled truck tyre rubber granules, that is installed at varying thickness according to the potential fall height from play equipment. The base layer provides the surface with the impact absorbing properties required to avoid serious injury. The base layer is then encapsulated with a robust wearing layer of FlooraBright EPDM rubber granules, available in a range of colours to help stimulate and educate children at play.


    The granules are bound together using Dow VORAMER™Polyurethane Binder, which ensures the granules are kept in place, to provide the surface protection where it is needed the most. The climbing-frames, spinning wheels, swings, space-ships, castles, rocking-horses and hoops can be used knowing there is a secure platform in place, to add greater interest and intrigue.


    laying of rubber mulch in playground by trade partners


    The same FlooraBounce range of surfacing materials can also be used in the construction of many sports surfaces, such as athletics tracks, synthetic hockey pitches and multi-use games areas.



    In post-2012 Olympic Britain, where healthier living and strenuous exercise are components of a ‘Be Inspired’ ethos, the old drudge of labouring sweatily around an antiquated cinder running-track is alleviated by a more technologically advanced surface that aids record-breaking lap times, rather than being an obstacle to them. Such surfaces also react better with modern sports footwear, are less demanding and do not denigrate the value of exercise one tiny bit.

    Synthetic sports surfaces also provide a viable, low maintenance, all-weather (a vital consideration for the UK climate), facility for field sports and multi-use games areas. The fact that a rainbow array of colours are available for a wide range of sporting applications, means that mums, dads and adults can enjoy some of the broader benefits of a cushioned surface, with the same levels of impact absorption and slip resistance that can be enjoyed by our children.


    The story has been educational in more ways than might seem obvious and Trade Partners International, a Dow Chemical Company approved distributor for VORAMER™ Polyurethane Binder, is a one-stop supplier of high quality rubber granules and associated products to sports and play surfacing trade. With a wealth of healthier options for all of us, from immature adventurers to ardent sports-fans the injury rate has dropped by over 90%* in playgrounds alone.


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