Gurgaon-based tyre manufacturer Apollo Tyres today inaugurated India’s first football pitch created from recycled rubber in Powai, Mumbai. The pitch, named as ‘Go The Distance’ pitch is Apollo Tyres’ second such initiative, the first being set up at Old Trafford stadium in the UK, home to the tyre-maker’s associate football partner, Manchester United football club. The Mumbai pitch was inaugurated by Satish Sharma, president, Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa, Apollo Tyres and ex-English footballer Bryan Robson.
The 'Go The Distance' pitch is a state-of-the-art surface, which has been created using 100% recycled rubber from the company’s own tyres. Roughly 10 tonnes of rubber, equivalent to 2,200 tyres, has been used in the making of the pitch.
Speaking at the inauguration, Sharma said, “Apollo Tyres as a company is committed to sustainability. This pitch in Mumbai, and the Go The Distance playgrounds in Chennai, created using end-of-life tyres, in addition to our increased focus on tyre retreading, is a proof of our commitment towards the cause. This Go The Distance pitch will also be available to the youth from the local communities to test out and hone their football skills.”
“Go The Distance pitch is a very good platform provided by Apollo Tyres and Manchester United, which will help encourage the next generation of football talent, and allows us to engage further with the local community,” said Robson during the inauguration.
Apollo Tyres has associated with 'Kick For All' academy for the upkeep, maintenance and utilisation of the pitch.
Apollo plans new launches in 2016
Last year, Apollo launched the passenger car tyre Amazer 4G Life for the Indian market, promising 100,000 km of life. This year, the company plans to come out with an exclusive SUV range of tyres. It also has plans of doubling the capacity in truck bus radial tyres and is looking at off-road tyres as well.
When asked about Apollo’s plans for the year, Sharma said, “I think cautious optimism is the right word. There is a decent uptick as far as the OE segment is concerned. M&HCVs have actually grown from a low base by 24% and I think that is going to carry on in the coming as well as the next quarter. What’s happening right now is that the fleets are replenishing their vehicles and then the real demand in terms of expansion of the fleet should take in. It’s a cyclical business and we are on the upside of the cycle now. There is also improvement in road infrastructure. If the credit growth by the banks along with the construction and industrial sector join in, then we would definitely see stronger demand for our products.”