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Olympic Park arena cancels netball internationals after flooring is damaged by mass fitness event

The Battle of London fitness event which caused the damage. The Battle of London fitness event which caused the damage.

Monday, January 20, 2014
6:07 PM

A friendly international women’s netball match scheduled to be played tonight at the Olympic Park’s Copper Box Arena has been cancelled after the floor of the venue was “significantly damaged” during a two-day fitness event held at the weekend.

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The Copper Box venueThe Copper Box venue

The England v New Zealand game, together with a second fixture tomorrow night against Jamaica have both had to be re-located to the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre after a section of the Copper Box’s sprung wooden flooring in the main arena was damaged during the Battle of London games.

Floor protectors which were installed in the venue ahead of the CrossFit event did not sufficiently protect it from damage.

Leisure services company, GLL, which owns the venue, said it was “investigating” the cause of the damage.

Four contractors worked though the night on Sunday to try and repair the damage in time for the netball fixtures but were unable to complete the work to a satisfactory condition.

Three hundred competitors took part in the Battle of London games, previously known as The London Throwdown, which was watched by 6,000 spectators.

The event involves male and females “master athletes” compete for a share of the £5,000 prize by completing a series of gruelling “workouts of the day” including kettlebell lifts, pull-ups and running.

Ticket holders were given refunds as the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, was unable to accommodate spectators at short notice. Instead the games are to bescreened live on Sky Sports.

Rachel Hunt, marketing and communications manager for GLL, said the venue was likely to be back in use on Wednesday.

“Four contractors came in and worked through the night to get the arena back and running, fingers crossed on Wednesday morning, which does look likely to happen,” she said. “In terms of the extent of the damage, reasons for it and any costings, I can only say that we are investigating at this stage.”

In a statement released on its website, England netball said GLL has “judged that there has been significant damage inflicted to the floor which is now not of the sufficient quality to facilitate and host an international netball event”.

A spokesperson for The Battle of London Games did not respond to a request for a comment.

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