Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre

Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre is a sports and leisure venue located in Leyton, London Borough of Waltham Forest, to the north of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Owned and managed by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, the site was previously known as Eton Manor and was a venue for the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2012 Summer Paralympics before being converted for public use and reopening in June 2014.[1][2]

Eton Manor in April 2012

HistoryEdit

Eton Manor takes its name from Eton College, which from the 1880s had run a "mission" to raise living standards in the East End of London.

In 1909 four Old Etonian philanthropists founded Eton Manor Boys' Club to provide sporting facilities in the Hackney area, purchasing the former Manor Farm in 1913. In 1920 an old rubbish tip site was converted into the club's new sports ground, known as The Wilderness. Facilities included nine football pitches, two rugby pitches, cricket pitches, six tennis courts, a bowling green, a squash court and a running track. Eton Manor Boys' Club closed in 1967 and the club ground fell into disuse in 2001 before being selected for use during the 2012 Olympic Games.

The charitable trust set up in 1924 to run and support Eton Manor Boys' Club still continues with different aims and a new name, Villiers Park Educational Trust.[3]

Four sports clubs originating from Eton's "mission" are still in existence:

  • Eton Manor R.F.C.,[4] now playing at The New Wilderness ground in Wanstead
  • Eton Manor F.C., now groundshare and are playing their matches at Waltham Abbey's ground in Waltham Abbey
  • Eton Manor A.C.,[5] meeting at Waltham Forest Track and Pool in Walthamstow (young athletes) and The Cottage, Marsh Lane, in Leyton (senior athletes)
  • Eastern Otters Water Polo Club (formerly Eton Otters) who currently play at the new Becontree Heath Leisure Centre in Dagenham (www.eastenotters.co.uk)

Eton College has a second connection to the 2012 Olympic Games, as the rowing events were held at the college's private facility, Dorney Lake.

London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic GamesEdit

During the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Eton Manor, was the only purpose-built Paralympic venue, where it hosted the wheelchair tennis. The venue was made up of nine competition courts and four warm-up courts.[6]

There were a total of 10,500 seats for spectators, with a 5,000 capacity centre court. The 27-acre site also housed temporary training pools for participants in aquatics events, including three 50m pools for swimmers and smaller pools for synchronised swimmers and water polo competitors.[7]

Post-OlympicsEdit

After the Olympic Games, Eton Manor houses the scaled down Olympic Hockey Centre relocated from further south in the Olympic Park. The venue saw a £30 million conversion to a public venue[8] and was renamed Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre and is run by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority. It is made up of two hockey pitches and ten tennis courts, four indoor and six outdoor. The venue offers a range of events and programmes from grassroots to elite level.

In 2010, the board of England Hockey put in a bid to host the Men's and Women's World Cups at the same time in 2014,[9] but the competitions were awarded to The Hague,[10] with the FIH promising London a chance to hold an event in 2015 or 2016.[11] The venue will host the 2015 EuroHockey Nations Championships.[12] Wapping Hockey Club secured anchor tenancy at the Olympic Legacy Facility following its opening in June 2014.[13] In December 2012 the International Tennis Federation announced that the venue would stage the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters on its indoor courts.[14]

Major eventsEdit

Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre has staged a number of major international events. These include the European Hockey Championships in 2015, the Women's Champions Event in 2016, the Men's World League Round 3 in 2017Hockey Women's World Cup in 2018 and the Mens and Ladies World Pro-League from 2019 and ongoing.[15][16]

It has already staged the Wheelchair Tennis Masters competition in November 2014, 2015 and 2016, comprising the world's leading tennis players.

Eton Manor poemEdit

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy was commissioned to write a poem which has been installed at Eton Manor, to celebrate its history and the legacy it will leave for the community after the Games.[citation needed]

The poem is erected onto a brass plaque at the entrance to the venue and was part of the Winning Words initiative, a national poetry scheme inspired by London 2012 which integrated permanent and temporary poetry on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.[17]

Community and other Centre UsersEdit

The centre offers Pay and Play sport to the local community and nationally. There are two England National League clubs that play their hockey at Lee Valley. These are East London Hockey Club and Wapping Hockey Club. In addition Crostyx Hockey Club, Tower Hamlets Hockey Club and Waltham Forest Hockey Club also play a significant amount of matches during their league season.[citation needed]

There is a strong University Sport presence at Lee Valley with teams from the Queen Mary University London, St. Barts & the Royal London, London School of Economics, London School of Oriental and African Studies, City University, South Bank University, University of the Arts, East London University, Goldsmiths University London and Kings College London. Many of these teams compete annually for the Lee Valley University Cup, a competition held in early October.[citation needed]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Latest Olympic legacy venue opens - BBC Sport
  2. ^ Pictures: Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre opens in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park - Newham Recorder
  3. ^ A Brief History of the Eton Manor Boys' Club Archived 27 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Eton Manor R.F.C.
  5. ^ Eton Manor A.C.
  6. ^ London 2012 Paralympics: wheelchair tennis venue Eton Manor completed - The Telegraph
  7. ^ http://www.itftennis.com/media/126768/126768.pdf[bare URL]
  8. ^ Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre officially opened after £30 million revamp - Inside the Games
  9. ^ "BBC Sport - Hockey - England table bid for 2014 Hockey World Cups". BBC News. 19 October 2010. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  10. ^ "FIH announces World Cup venue in 2014". Eurohockey.org. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  11. ^ Williams, Ollie (11 November 2010). "BBC Sport - Hockey - Olympic Park loses bid to host 2014 Hockey World Cups". BBC News. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  12. ^ Mackay,Duncan (21 March 2012) "England To Host 2015 European Hockey Championships at Olympic Park". Inside the Games. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  13. ^ BBC Television (19 June 2014) "Lee Valley: Latest Olympic Legacy Venue Opens in Stratford" BBC London News. Retrieved on August 2014.
  14. ^ "WHEELCHAIR - Articles - Olympic Park to stage NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters". ITF Tennis. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  15. ^ EuroHockey 2015
  16. ^ EuroHockey 2015 - The Venue - England Hockey (Archived 2015-01-26 at archive.today)
  17. ^ London 2012: Carol Ann Duffy recites Olympic park poem - BBC News

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 51°33′11″N 0°00′54″W / 51.55305°N 0.01513°W / 51.55305; -0.01513