Canning Town students experience Olympics legacy with whitewater rafting in Lee Valley
PUBLISHED: 17:22 22 July 2014 | UPDATED: 17:28 22 July 2014
Students from Newham had a taste of the legacy of Olympics when they braved the rapids at Lee Valley White Water Centre, the world class venue that hosted the London 2012 Canoe Slalom event.
Eastlea Community School represented Newham at the fourth annual Lee Valley White Water Centre Schools Festival and were among 500 children from across London, Hertfordshire and Essex who rafted for free on the same rapids where Team GB took gold and silver in the London 2012 Olympics.
Shaun Dawson, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority Chief Executive, said: “The legacy of the Games is all about young people and they are central to our work. The Schools Festival brings together 500 children from across the capital, Essex and Hertfordshire to raft for free.
“For many of the youngsters, it’s their first experience of this adrenalin sport and we hope that this will be a springboard to getting into white water sports and becoming the stars of tomorrow.
“We will be running Schools Festivals at our other two London 2012 legacy venues on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – Lee Valley VeloPark and Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre – in September, giving hundreds more children the chance to take part for free in sports activities in inspirational world class venues.”
The Schools Festival also offered the young people a chance to try other sports and activities provided by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority and partners including Canoe England, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and the Lawn Tennis Association. The students took part in kayaking on the lake, cycling Wattbike challenge, mini tennis sessions, multi-skill football sessions as well as team building activities such as the Water Wipeout, where teams raced against the clock to be the first to tackle the inflatable obstacles.
Lee Valley White Water Centre is in daily use with a number of successful legacy projects ongoing and the water is shared by participants of all levels, from complete beginners to elite athletes. It is one of dozens of venues run by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority along the 26 mile long Lee Valley.
The venue recently launched a new resident club, Lee Valley Paddlesports Club, which welcomes all paddlers over the age of nine, from absolute beginners to Olympic champions across the whole range of paddle sports.