Some of the country’s top sports stars teamed up with the next generation of champions to try the world class facilities at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre – the latest London 2012 venue to launch in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park today.

Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre will play host to numerous international events over the next few years, starting with the Investec London Cup.

Just days after competing at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup, England Hockey Women’s and Men’s team members Tom Carson, Henry Weir and Kirsty Mackay joined British Wheelchair Tennis Paralympic medallists Jordanne Whiley and Lucy Shuker to officially open the £30 million centre that has been adapted from Eton Manor – the only purpose-built Paralympic venue.

Local schools including Chobham Academy, University of East London’s tennis club, East London and Waltham Forest hockey clubs and the east London based FRE Flyers community group were among the first to test out the new facilities which feature striking blue tennis courts of the same standard as those used in the US Open and two floodlit, international competition standard hockey pitches with a stunning Union Jack design.

Shaun Dawson, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority Chief Executive said: “Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre provides top class facilities for the next generation of hockey and tennis champions – the stars of tomorrow will be discovered here.”

Sally Munday, England Hockey Chief Executive said: “We have an exciting few years ahead of us in terms of the major international events we’re hosting at this stadium, and having a facility like this is a fantastic tool for us to engage the public with our sport and really stimulate some National pride in supporting England’s hockey teams. It’s also a huge benefit to the local clubs and schools in the area who’ll use the pitches, which is of utmost importance.”

The EHF was represented at the opening by the President, Marijke Fleuren and Director General, Angus Kirkland. Marijke said “It is a great pleasure to be here today to see real life Olympic legacy in action. We are really looking forward to being here for the EuroHockey Championships next summer, which we believe will be a marvelous celebration of hockey!”

Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre will be a hub for disability tennis and a base for tennis community activity. Hockey clubs from the region will train and play matches on the pitches and there will also be introductory sessions for players new to the sport.

Source: England Hockey

Photograph: r-l: Marijke is pictured with Philip Kimberley, England Hockey and Angus Kirkland (Ady Kerry (c))