News story

Olympic venue opens to the public

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The centre which will host the London 2012 canoe slalom competition has welcomed its first visitors.

Lee Valley White Water Centre has become the first Olympic venue to open for public use.

Since Good Friday, visitors have able to use the same white water rapids which will be tackled by top athletes next year.

The centre, which is home to the GB Canoe Slalom team, has two separate courses; a 300 metre Olympic Standard course and a 160 metre Legacy Loop which during the Games will be used by athletes to warm up. Centre chiefs are also aiming to open up white water rafting and canoeing to a new audience in London and the south east.

Derrick Ashley, Chairman of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority - which will run the Centre - said: “Lee Valley White Water Centre is quite simply the best of its type anywhere in the world. Thousands of people have already booked their day out.”

Seb Coe, Chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) said: “Seeing the Lee Valley White Water Centre open to the public is a great example of an early legacy for London 2012. This venue provides the opportunity for a new generation of water sports enthusiasts to get active and engaged in fun and challenging sports as well as providing us with a world class Olympic venue for Canoe Slalom.”

The centre was built by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) between July 2009 and December 2010, making it the first brand new 2012 venue to be completed.

Under its sports development programme, schools, community groups and sports clubs from across the region will enjoy access to the centre, alongside the sport’s leading athletes.

As well as next year’s Games, the venue will host the 2015 Canoe Slalom World Championships when the competition returns to Britain for the first time in 20 years.

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