Eton Manor passes London 2012 test and secures European championships 2015
HRH The Duchess of Gloucester was guest of honour at the London 2012 Paralympic wheelchair test event at Eton Manor in the north of Olympic Park in what was also a major test for the venue’s ability to cope with a major sporting occasion.
After the Games, Eton Manor, one of four London 2012 venues owned and managed by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, will be home to Lee Valley Tennis Centre and Lee Valley Hockey Centre.
Paul Coates, Senior Sports Development Officer at the Authority gave the Duchess a detailed briefing on the work being carried out to deliver an enduring tennis and hockey legacy for all communities. The Authority is working closely with the national governing bodies of both sports, schools and community groups to ensure that people of diverse abilities will benefit from these venues. Special coaching programmes will be implemented to encourage youngsters to take up hockey or tennis while attracting disabled athletes will form a core part of the legacy work. After the Games, Lee Valley Tennis Centre and Lee Valley Hockey Centre will both become Regional Centres of Excellence. They will cater for elite and grassroots athletes to ensure that all communities and abilities benefit from the London 2012 Games.
The 2015 European Hockey Championships will be staged at Eton Manor, the first international sports event to take place on Olympic Park after 2012. This will be the first of many high profile sports events to take place there, forming a central part of the Authority’s plans to create a venue that delivers genuine sporting and commercial benefits while inspiring all abilities to take up sport by watching the world’s very best.
The wheelchair tennis test event formed part of a five day long series of test events at Olympic Park which attracted more than 100,000 people. With up to 500 spectators attending the wheelchair tennis competition, Eton Manor adequately rose to the challenge of staging its first major event. The competition on the court was equally challenging with Dutch player Esther Vergeer taking the ladies singles title and Britain’s Peter Norfolk taking the men’s title.