Launch of 2012 Canoe Centre

19 April 2011, 15:54 | Updated: 19 April 2011, 16:06

The first 2012 centre which can be used by members of the public before the Games has been officially launched today (Tuesday April 19th)

The Lee Valley White Water Centre, near Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire, will host the canoeing events.

The centre was the first brand new Olympic venue to be completed back in December. Costing around £30m facilities include a 300 metre competition course, with a 5.5 metre descent, and a 160 metre training course.

Although today marks the official launch of the venue, from Good Friday (April 22nd) members of the public will be able to take to the water in the run up to the Games.

Simon Ricketts is the centre manager. He’s been telling Heart by opening the centre before the Games, he hopes more people will become interested in the sport:

“This is the only purpose built Olympic venue to be opened to the public before the Games. So this will be like somebody going to run round the 400 metre track, but they can’t do that before the Games, but people here can experience exactly what those Olympic athletes will experience in 2012.”

Paskell Blackwell is the men’s GB captain for white water rafting. He’s says the course is one of the best in the world:

“There’s nothing as modern or exciting as this venue across the world in this type of thing. There is only a handful of venues that could even try to compete but there is not doubt in my mind that this is at the top of the list.”

Rafting tickets start from £49 pounds, you can get them by visiting or by calling 08456 700 606.