In the summer of 2020, Sport & Play – in collaboration with a primary contractor – were tasked with installing a Thor 9 Hammer Cage at Manchester Regional Arena. The sports ground was originally constructed as the warmup track for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. After 2002, the Arena has gone on to host the British Athletics Championships, the AAA’s annual National Athletics Trials and the Paralympic World Cup. As well as these, the Arena also hosts various other regional athletics events, and is open to the local community for use. The team worked to install the new cage, which meets regulation criteria for the highest athletic standard, allowing the Arena to use to the cage all year round.
Sport & Play were contacted by the Arena’s principal contractors, after the old hammer cage at the arena was found to have failed its TrackMark Health and Safety inspection; meaning it would need to be replaced. This is a scheme introduced by U.K. Athletics in 2019, to ensure that all facilities and equipment are up to safety and performance regulations, inclusive of all users. Due to the wide range of events and activities hosted at the Arena, the new cage would need to be able to be raised and dropped quickly; allowing for spectators watching athletics events to not be hindered by the cage when it is not being used for hammer throw and discus events. In addition to this, the Arena management were also seeking to use the cage all year around; allowing the Arena to host out of season training. This meant they needed to ensure that the new cage could endure the high winds during the winter months.
After listening to these concerns, Sport & Play decided to recommend the Thor 9 Hammer Cage. Sport & Play are proud to be the sole distributor and installer of Thor cages in U.K; supplied by Australian-based Play Hard Sports, who have been in the industry since 1993 producing world-class sports equipment. The Thor 9 cage meets the highest World Athletics standard for throwing, certified by the IAAF. The cage also allows the net to be dropped and raised quickly and easily, meeting the criteria set out by the Arena. The Thor 9 can also withstand very high wind speeds – whilst the netting is still up – of up to 100kph, meeting the year-round requirements of the Arena. Additionally, the cage comes in a range of colours, allowing the Regional Arena management to customise their cage to how they wanted it to look. In the end, they choose a black cage; contrasting with the blue athletics track installed at the Arena.
With the Arena management agreeing with Sport & Play’s recommendation, the team – in collaboration with the primary contractor – went ahead with the installation of the Thor 9 cage. The process was split into two phases. The first, taking 5 days, to prepare the ground for the cage and the second, ranging from 2 to 3 days, during which the cage and net were constructed. The team at the Manchester Regional Arena were pleased with the results of the installation, with the new cage meaning they can offer hammer cage and discus events and services to their wide range of clients once again.
Make sure to check out the aerial shots of the new Thor 9 hammer cage, taken by our team after their successful installation!