School Children Raft The Olympic Rapids

5 July 2011, 14:57 | Updated: 5 July 2011, 15:21

Children in Hertfordshire, who have visited the only brand new Olympic venue to be opened to the public ahead of the 2012 Games, have described it as a "once in a lifetime experience".

More than 300 youngsters from 23 schools across the county have been at Lee Valley White Water Centre today (Tuesday July 5th) rafting the 300m rapid course.

It’s part of the Schools Festival, funded by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, which will see pupils from every district in Hertfordshire and Essex, as well as children from every borough in London rafting the very same rapids which the world’s best athletes will tackle next year.

Derrick Ashley, Chairman of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, which runs the Centre said: “We are delighted to host the Schools Festival as the first part of our promise to deliver a tangible benefit from the Games. More than 2000 children from across London, Essex and Hertfordshire will raft the rapids for FREE - an early opening legacy ahead of the Games.
“Lee Valley White Water Centre is already proving to be hugely popular and the Schools Festival is a clear sign of how we are developing an exciting and effective legacy for the Centre, showing young people the thrilling possibilities of paddle sport.”