The use of used shipping containers to provide sporting facilities is both novel and highly effective. While one of the stadiums used in last year’s World Cup in Qatar contained no fewer than 974 of them, they are also useful at grassroots level.

Greatham Sports Field in Hartlepool might be a long way from the famous venues that can play host to sporting superstars, but from youngsters starting out to amateurs who simply enjoy playing with their friends at the weekends, the need for good changing facilities is obvious.

As The Hartlepool Mail reports, for the last decade these have been provided by mobile cabins, but they are wearing out and will now be replaced by changing facilities made from converted shipping containers.

With a permanent new building ruled “out of budget” by the council and the old facilities needing replacement, the three green-painted containers have provided the perfect alternative, helping serve the six football teams that use Greatham Sports Field.

The council backed the plan as it will “enhance the range of facilities available”, while funds came from a mix of sources including grants and a donation from the Football Foundation.

A particular benefit of using shipping containers to provide changing rooms and store equipment is they are very robust and able to withstand events that could wreck other facilities, such as severe storms or fires.

The latter can be an issue at some sports facilities due to incidents of arson. A fire that destroyed a hut and equipment at a youth football club in Kent this month was started deliberately, according to Kent Fire and Rescue Service, leaving junior football club Rolvenden Tigers without almost all its equipment.

It may be that as the club seeks to rebuild, Rolvenden Tigers could also benefit from using a shipping container-based facility to keep equipment and provide changing facilities.

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