The public launch marks the first and only brand new London 2012 venue to open before the Games. The 15 month head-start is by design and is meant to provide a range of quantifiable early legacy benefits to the region. The Centre will welcome over 2,000 area students this coming June and July as part of an Education Pledge made to schools across the region.
In addition to being treated to free rafting excursions on the Olympic course, these school children will also learn about how this unique recirculating whitewater venue functions while enjoying a number of other adventure skill activities such as orienteering in the surrounding 1,000 acre River Lee Country Park. “The Education Pledge is a great example of the way in which local communities from across London and the region will directly benefit from this leading venue,” said Michael Rye, Vice Chairman of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority.
The entire venue was designed with legacy in mind from the very start, with the intent of introducing the excitement of whitewater paddling to variety of user groups. Typically, that’s not achievable until after such a facility’s Olympic debut, but more than 4,000 public rafting bookings have already been made prior to the venue being turned over to Olympic organizers later this year. And after 5 days of Olympic competition in late July 2012, the Centre will again oversee a post-Games legacy as a publicly accessible adventure destination open to all. It was also recently awarded the opportunity to host the 2015 Canoe Slalom World Championships.
Located near Waltham Abbey – Hertfordshire, just off the London Orbital M25 motorway, the £30m Centre encompasses 25 acres adjacent to Lee Valley’s extensive greenway. An innovative dual-course design includes a 300m Olympic Course with a 5.5m drop used for competition and rafting, as well as a 160m Legacy Loop with a 1.6m drop, used for practice and for developing the next generation of paddlers.
For more information on the Lee Valley Whitewater Centre check out:
Whitewater Parks International designed the Lee Valle Whitewater Center. Whitewater Parks International provides professional services for developing and operating state-of-the-art whitewater sport facilities. They specialize in financially sustainable and community enhancing projects, as exemplified by their planning and design work for the Lee Valley Whitewater Centre.
More information is available from:WhitewaterParksInternational