Installing Gates and Access to School Sports Areas

Installing gates and access to school sports areas

School sports areas present a specific set of risks that need to be carefully considered and appropriately mitigated to ensure safety and security for all those accessing the area. When specifying and installing gates and access to these areas, there’s a lot to consider: from foot traffic flow and spectator safety, to the safety of surrounding properties and the security of the enclosure when not in use.


A sports area should be safe for both the participants and spectators. Widely-spaced pales or railings that could lead to entrapment of a child’s limbs and sharp edges that could cause injury should be avoided at all costs. A minimum gap of 12mm between the gate and the posts, on either side, allows the gate its full range of movement, without posing a risk to youngsters. Additionally, the risk of balls breaching the boundary perimeter must also be considered and mitigated if it poses a risk to participants or others nearby. Rebound welded mesh gates have the same mesh infill as the matching fencing and can withstanding high impact sports including hockey and football, absorbing the shock of stray equipment while avoiding injury to spectators or obscuring their view.

Managing traffic flow

Volumes of people using the sports areas should be assessed to ensure enough gates are installed and that they are wide enough to accommodate the flow of people and avoid congestion. Gates should also accommodate wheelchairs to ensure the sports area is easily accessible and inclusive for all. Where possible, gates should have drop bolts to allow them to be held in the open position, and incorporate self-closing hinges with a timer to stop gates from slamming shut.

Gate locks

Avoid vandalism of sports areas or theft of any valuable sports kit or grounds keeping equipment by installing suitable locks on any gates. Key locks allow access to specific members of staff, and drop bolts provide additional strength and allow gates to be held in the open position where necessary.

Emergency access

In an analysis of two NHS emergency departments in the UK, The Conversation found that of the 64,000 injuries seen during the period, sports injuries account for almost one in five attendances, with children and young adults accounting for almost half of all cases. This alarming statistic highlights the need for gates that allow vehicular access for emergency services, such as double leaf gates with 180° opening.

Identify the risks

A quality security fencing provider should inspect your sports area and determine the operational requirements through an on-site audit. School sports fields and courts require specialist fencing and gates and Jacksons offers welded mesh and tubular system solutions to meet the requirements of any school. Additionally, our Euroguard® Flatform welded mesh panels feature 200 x 500mm wire centres with 45mm apertures to provide excellent security and durability, preventing balls and equipment passing through whilst conforming to anti-trap regulations. Jacksons provides a quality installation service with only CSCS-certified and CRB-cleared experts installing gates in schools, ensuring the school’s image is maintained and disruption is kept to a minimum throughout installation. For more information on our sports fencing, click here.

Check out our other blogs on related topics:

Access Control for Schools

Managing Traffic Flow in Schools

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