Footage courtesy of Sky Sports
An inflatable advertising hoarding designed in New Zealand could significantly reduce the risk of injury at sports matches, says Peter Roberts, CEO of inflatable sporting products company Packaworld International Limited.
Mr Roberts said the risks posed by rigid wood and steel advertising hoardings were brought into the spotlight once more during the Warriors win over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in Wellington on the weekend.
Kerrod Holland and Tui Lolohea collided with rigid signage placed metres from the scoring zone. Holland landed awkwardly after a backflip, and was lucky to escape injury despite showing some tenderness to his ankle.
He called on stadiums, advertisers and event organisers to put an end to the use of dangerous hoardings for the sake of the players.
“This is not a blood sport. Something’s got to change, and someone has to take responsibility. It’s the players’ job to score tries out there and entertain, but venues, advertisers and competition organisers have a duty of care to keep them safe while doing it.
“We’ve got to ask ourselves, are we doing everything reasonable to keep players safe? In this case, I’d say no. Packaworld developed Packasign so these situations would be a thing of the past, and it shouldn’t take another injury to make people see the light.”
Mr Roberts said these situations were all too common, and had proven season-ending for players in the past, such as Kangaroos player Luke Lewis, whose 2013 Rugby League World Cup dreams were ended by a dislocated shoulder after a collision with hoardings.
He said Packasign hoardings are composed of inflatable poles, covered in easily interchangeable cloth so as to provide a soft surface in case of collisions, and were an attractive, safe and portable solution for advertising at sports venues.