The first group of more than 700 schoolchildren this week enjoyed exclusive access to expert coaching at London 2012 legacy venues, Lee Valley VeloPark and Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, which hosted their first school festivals.
The four day event began on Monday 13 October at both centres on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park giving students the chance to take part in cycling, tennis and hockey for free. Students were invited from over 100 primary and secondary schools from every London borough, plus all districts in Hertfordshire and Essex.
The event was funded by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority which owns and runs both venues, and is part of a long standing programme giving schoolchildren across the capital and further afield opportunities to enjoy sport for free in inspirational surroundings.
Secondary schools enjoyed coached sessions at Lee Valley VeloPark which is the only venue in the world where the public can take part in the four Olympic and Paralympic cycling disciplines in one place: track in the iconic London 2012 velodrome, BMX on the remodelled Olympic track, road cycling on the one-mile road circuit and mountain biking on five miles of mountain bike trails.
Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, where the wheelchair tennis took place during the Paralympic Games, is open to everyone with six external and four internal tennis courts alongside two international standard hockey pitches. Primary school pupils in Years 3 and 4 (seven to nine years old) enjoyed expert coaching in Quicksticks – a fun four-a-side taster for hockey, and Mini Tennis – a perfect introduction to the basics of the sport.
Shaun Dawson, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority Chief Executive said: “This inaugural Schools Festival at Lee Valley VeloPark and Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre has been a fantastic success so far.
“This is a perfect example of London 2012 delivering on its legacy promise to ‘inspire a generation’, with hundreds of children coming to enjoy these iconic venues. The schools festival has run for four years at Lee Valley White Water Centre, and has already given 2000 children the chance to try rafting where Team GB triumphed in 2012.
“We hope that the young people participating today will be inspired to take up some of the sports we have available at these phenomenal centres.”
The Schools Festival continues at Lee Valley VeloPark with a further two days on 20-21 October.
If your school would like to visit the VeloPark or Hockey and Tennis Centre, find out more here – http://www.visitleevalley.org.uk/go/hockey-tennis/