2012 canoe slalom venue on track as foundations laid for an early legacy of world-class facilities


broxbourne_landscapingThe White Water Canoe Centre in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire will host the canoe slalom events during the Olympic Games. After the Games, the venue will be owned, funded operated by the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority as a sporting and leisure facility for canoeing and white-water rafting, as well as a major competition and training venue for elite events.

Construction work started on the Broxbourne venue in July and land formation works to form the canoe course embankments and the landscaped features of the venue are over halfway complete. Piling work is now underway to form the foundations of the Olympic starting pool and the venue’s facility building. The venue is due for completion ahead of 2012, delivering an early legacy of community use and training facilities for people of all abilities before the Games begin.

ODA Chief Executive David Higgins said: “We are making good progress at Broxbourne and seeing the site beginning to take shape gives us an exciting glimpse of what will be a world-class venue for 2012 and a major leisure attraction after the Games. The start of foundation works is an important milestone and keeps us on track to deliver an early legacy of first-class new sporting facilities for the East of England region well before the world’s best athletes arrive in 2012.”

Shaun Dawson, Chief Executive of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority said: “We have witnessed strong progress at this site over the past three months. As the owners and operators of the venue before and after London 2012, we are working hard to create a programme which will enable beginners, sports clubs, schools and elite athletes to use the Centre. The Centre has been designed to cater for a very wide range of people, with a nerve-jangling 5m drop for more experienced canoeists and commercial white water rafting and a 160m long intermediate course, perfect for coaching a wider range of ages and abilities. We look forward to opening the doors to the public in Spring 2011.”

Lord Edward Iveagh, East of England Development Agency (EEDA) board member said: “It is great news that the work on the site is on schedule. When complete the White Water Canoe Centre will provide top-of-the-range sporting facilities which will benefit local people and communities for years to come. It will also attract visitors to the region from the UK and abroad helping to boost local businesses and the economy.”

Charles Johnston, Sport England’s Property Director, said “Broxbourne is on course to benefit community paddlers before and after the arrival of the world’s best athletes for the 2012 Games. We’re pleased that our investment of National Lottery funding will help meet the long-standing need of the region’s paddlers for high-quality sporting opportunities from beginner to elite level.”

The White Water Canoe Centre is being built in Broxbourne on part of the River Lee Country Park, close to Waltham Cross station and will be owned, funded and managed by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, who own the site. The venue is being built on a 10 hectare site, covering an area the equivalent of 25 full-size football pitches, and will include:

An Olympic standard 300m competition course

• The water speed through the course will be in excess of 7mph in places

• A boat conveyor to transport participants to the course start in their rafts or canoes

A 160m intermediate/training course

• The intermediate course will help create an inclusive and comprehensive sports programme in legacy from novice paddler through to elite competitors

Finish Lake

• Finish lake area of 10,000m2 (1 hectare / 2.5 acres)

A facility building and pumping house

• Containing a reception, café, changing rooms, admin offices, spectator viewing facilities, storage, and water pump/filtration plant

Landscaping works

• With path and bridge networks throughout the venue to facilitate spectator viewing and access

Around 50 people are now working on the Broxbourne construction site and work to form the canoe course embankments and the landscaped features of the venue has so far seen over 150,000 cubic metres of material put in place – enough to fill the Royal Albert Hall.

Foundation work is now underway on site and will see 300 concrete piles driven up to 16 metres into the ground to form the foundations of the venue facilities building and Olympic course start pool. Work is also now underway on site to create the venue’s finish lake and will involve the excavation of 10,000 cubic metres of soil – enough to fill three Olympic-sized swimming pools.

The construction of the White Water Canoe Centre is due to be completed for Games training and testing in 2010-11 with some public use in 2011. During the Games, temporary seating will be installed around the venue for spectators.

After the Games, the spectator seating will be removed, and the venue will be developed into the Broxbourne White Water Canoe Centre, creating a major leisure attraction for canoeing and white water rafting as well as a venue for future international competition and sports development opportunities.

Anyone keen to find out more information on the development of the venue and how it will be used before, after, or during the Games can visit a dedicated Information Point, located a 20 minute walk away from the site, at YHA Lee Valley in Cheshunt, part of the Lee Valley Regional Park.

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