Plaistow students brave white water rapids at Olympic venue

Cumberland School students white water rafting.

Cumberland School students white water rafting. - Credit: Archant

These lucky students were among the first to try white water rafting in an Olympic venue after gold medal-winning athletes.

Selected students from Cumberland School, in Oban Close, Plaistow, represented Newham in the third annual schools festival at the Lee Valley White Water Centre on Monday July 8 and Tuesday July 9.

Hundreds of young people representing every London borough took part in the event as well as schools in Essex and Hertfordshire including Team GB Canoe Slalom gold medalists Etienne Stott and Tim Bailie.

Speaking from the venue in Hertfordshire, Tim Bailie said: “The memories of the London 2012 Games will never leave us and it’s great to see so many young people coming to Lee Valley White Water Centre and taking to the same water where we achieved our win.

“We hope that we can inspire more young people to take up paddle sport and having these facilities can help to unearth the sport’s future champions.”

The Lee Valley White Water Centre is currently undergoing a £6.3m development project to transform it into a teaching and community venue.

So far, a new pavilion which overlooks the Olympic Standard Competition Course has been completed and it includes an outdoor classroom, a catering room, and extra space for shade and shelter.

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The centre also hopes to be a training ground for athletes with a new gym and physiotherapy suite to be finished by early next year.

Shaun Dawson, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority chief executive, said: “The Games and the athletes who took part have proved to be inspirational to young people and terrific role models.

“Young people are at the heart of the Authority’s legacy commitment and Lee Valley White Water Centre schools festivals enables us to engage with the community and give students a taste for what happened on their doorstep last year.”