Many sportswear giants pursue innovative technologies and initiatives in the interest of creating a more sustainable future. Nike, for example, started the Grind Programme back in 1992, transforming recycled footwear, manufacturing scraps, and plastic bottles into useful materials. The usage of Grind materials has gone beyond sportswear production, too, they’re also incorporated into sport ground surfaces – in fact, the material is present in over 10,000 surfaces all over the world. This initiative now comes to Hong Kong with the birth of Nike Shek Lei Grind Court in Kwai Chung residential neighbourhood.
The transformation of the rooftop basketball court in Shek Lei Estate is a joint project between Nike and People’s Place under the management of Gaw Capital Partners – the latter is known for injecting creativity, vibrancy, and energy into local communities through revitalisation projects. The surface of the Shek Lei Grind Court is covered in Nike Grind, and is composed of recycled plastic, rubber, foam, fibre, leather, and textiles collected from 20,000 pairs of used sneakers. The project also injects artistic value into the neighbourhood, having invited British illustrator and toy designer James Jarvis to incorporate his signature and playful sphere characters playing basketball on the surface of the court.
The Shek Lei Grind Court also kickstarts Nike’s Made To Play campaign. Not only does the basketball court serve as a community hub for nearby residents, the brand also partners with local NGOs like InspiringHK Sports Foundation, which helps youth experience the power of sports.