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We're 10! Here's 10 key moments for Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre

Aerial view of Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre with two outdoor hockey pitches, six outdoor tennis courts and the main building

We’re delighted to be marking 10 years since we opened the doors of Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre to the public after two years of transformation works following the London 2012 Games.


This impactful centre is now firmly established as one of the big five sports venues on London’s wonderful Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Are you among the 460,000 people who’ve played here or the thousands upon thousands have enjoyed an almost non-stop series of major international events?

 

Did you know that the site, which is owned by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, has a sporting pedigree going back to 1923? The Authority were a key part of London’s bid for the 2012 Games and we made sure that Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre was perfectly designed for its post Games legacy use.

 

To mark 10 years of being open to the public, here’s 10 things that sum up what this award winning venue is all about:

 

Two GB tennis player at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Image credit: The Tennis Foundation & Professional Sport Photography

1. London 2012 Games

This was 2012’s only new purpose built Paralympic venue, hosting the wheelchair tennis competition. Eight days of thrilling competition attracted record crowds to three events. ParalympicsGB won two medals, a silver in the Quad doubles and a Bronze in the Women’s doubles.

Image credit: The Tennis Foundation & Professional Sport Photography


2. Open to the public – 21 June 2014

After the Games work took place to transform the venue to what you see today – ready for when we threw open the doors 10 years ago. Visitors can use:

  • four US Open standard indoor tennis courts

  • six outdoor courts

  • two of the best hockey pitches in the country which host domestic matches, schools and community teams as well as international events.

 

3. Delivering 10 years of sporting legacy

Legacy has always been our big focus – and we’re proud to say that:

  • since opening 1.3 million people have visited 

  • 460,000 have played hockey and tennis

  • we’ve given away 2,000 free event tickets for community groups

  • over 1,000 people have participated in funded programmes

  • we’ve hosted 13 major international events

 

4. Delivering community focused programmes

With the help of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority’s Community Access Fund and its Active Communities grant scheme, and the work of partners, we’ve delivered a wide range of impactful community initiatives. These include mental health tennis sessions in partnership with Core Arts which promote positive physical and mental wellbeing and the Hackney New Age Games programme in partnership with Hackney Council which encourages older people to take part in physical activity. Find out more about our grant programmes.

 

child with tennis coach learning to play tennis on outdoor tennis court

5. Extensive tennis coaching programme

The venue has established a great programme offering over 70 hours of coaching a week delivered by a dedicated team. Sessions available allow children as young as four to pick up a racket, learn new skills and get active in an inspirational setting.


Wheelchair tennis player at playing at the NEC Wheelchair Tennis event in 2014

6. Boosting disability tennis

We’re a hub for disability tennis and kicked off our tennis events programme with three successive years of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters bringing the biggest names in wheelchair tennis, including 2012 Paralympic medallists back to our indoor courts.

 

Large crowds at the Vitality Hockey Womens World Cup at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in 2019. Image credit: World Sport Pics, Rodrigo Jaramillo

7. Record crowds for women’s hockey

We’re used to hosting large scale international hockey events – however the 2018 Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup was extra special with over 120,000 spectators – a UK record for women’s hockey outside an Olympics - coming to watch the matches, making the atmosphere electric. Image credit: World Sport Pics, Rodrigo Jaramillo.

 

8. FIH Pro League

Since 2018 we’ve hosted the GB leg of these international league matches with our top class hockey pitches taking centre stage in these thrilling on pitch battles.

 

9. Road to Rio Programme

This programme helped spot the next generation of wheelchair tennis players to represent GB at the Paralympics, delivering grass roots support for progression in the sport.

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10. Jam packed calendar

It’s not only the big events that take place, our hockey pitches are in constant use with school and university teams playing, as well as domestic hockey league matches and six clubs based here.

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