Newham white water riders

Young people from Newham were among those to brave the white water rapids of a London 2012 Olympic venue.

The 14 members of the Legacy Youth Panel, including youngsters from Newham, got the chance of a thrilling ride round the Olympic course of the Lee Valley White Water Centre near Waltham Cross.

Legacy Youth Panel Member Arfah Farooq, 20, of Newham, said: “It was great fun today and really exciting that we went on the Olympic course.

“I would recommend the centre to everyone.

“It is a good example of how a commercial Olympic venue can work successfully.

“This is definitely something I will bring my friends and family back to experience.”

Each year 30 young people aged between 13 and 21 are selected to form the Youth Panel, a group put together by the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC).

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Lee Valley White Water Centre is the only brand new London 2012 venue open to the public ahead of the Games.

The fearless youngsters rafted the Olympic Standards Competition Course, tackling the same challenging, fast paced rapids the Olympians will use this time next year.

Simon Ricketts, Lee Valley White Water centre manager, said: “The centre’s success has been phenomenal and today we showed the Legacy Youth Panel members what makes this fantastic centre a blueprint for other London 2012 venues.”

The children’s experience of the rapids will be used to form Legacy plans for sport venues in the Olympic Park after the London 2012 Games.

Emma Frost, head of communities and business at the OPLC, said: “The young people who make up the panel are absolutely fantastic.

“They give their time and energy willingly to help form the post Games Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

“We are thrilled that they have got the chance to experience a London 2012 venue in action, a year before the Games have even started.”