The European Hockey Federation (EHF) and England Hockey Board (EHB) are delighted to announce that England has been selected as the host of the women's and men's EuroHockey Championships 2015.
The Championships, which will take place in August 2015 at Lee Valley Hockey Centre, will be the first major international tournament to be held in the Olympic Park after the London 2012 Olympic Games and represent the next stage in the EHB's plans for establishing a long lasting legacy for hockey.
The successful bid was developed by the EHB with the support of London & Partners' and UK Sport's major event teams, together with the Olympic Park Legacy Company and Lee Valley Regional Park Authority. England was selected as host by the EHF at its Board meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia, on 9-10 March.
Hosting major international tournaments is a cornerstone of the EHB's strategy as it looks to maximise the opportunity afforded to sport by the Olympic Games. With the inspirational Hockey Nation participation programme rolling out nationwide this spring and 630,000 spectators set to attend hockey matches at London 2012, the EuroHockey Championships 2015 continues the EHB's commitment to developing an exciting legacy for hockey.
On announcing England as the hosts, the EHF President, Marijke Fleuren said, "With great pleasure we announce the unanimous decision of the EHF Executive Board to award the hosting of the EuroHockey Championships, Women and Men, 2015 to the England Hockey Board.
"It was William Shakespeare who said that 'no legacy is so rich as honesty'. The England Hockey Board has been honest in its promise of a legacy to hockey, not only today with this announcement, but also when they hosted the EuroHockey Championships in 2007 in Manchester at hockey's legacy venue from the 2002 Commonwealth Games. We in the EHF are delighted to be going back once again to another wonderful hockey legacy venue, this time the Lee Valley Hockey Centre.
"The EuroHockey Championships in 2015 will offer the Champions, Women and Men, the best prize: participation in the XXXI Olympic Summer Games, 2016 in the city of Rio de Janeiro. I am sure, that under Sally Munday's inspiring guidance, the EuroHockey Championships 2015, Women and Men, will be a superb experience for the players, officials and spectators. I have the full confidence that the EHF and England Hockey Board will work together in a spirit of co-operation and partnership."
Accepting the honour of hosting the EuroHockey Championships, Philip Kimberley, Chairman of the England Hockey Board, said, "We're thrilled to have been named as the host of the EuroHockey Championships 2015, Women and Men. The bid team, led by Chief Executive Sally Munday, has done an exceptional job in preparing an outstanding bid and I offer my wholehearted congratulations and thanks to Sally, her team and our partners. This success once again demonstrates our commitment to creating a lasting legacy for people to continue to enjoy playing, watching and volunteering in hockey in this country."
Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport and the Olympics, said, "I delighted that England has been chosen to host the EuroHockey Championships 2015. This adds yet another competition to the portfolio of major sports events that will be hosted in the UK after the Games supporting the Olympic legacy."
Simon Morton, Director of Major Events and International Relations at UK Sport said: "The EuroHockey Championships 2015, Women and Men, was an important target event for UK Sport to secure in terms of delivering our ambition to bring the world's biggest sporting events to the UK as a legacy from the Games.
"Our investment of £500,000 in National Lottery funds has secured another flagship event for an Olympic venue. This will present a fantastic opportunity for hockey fans and participants, inspired by London 2012, to support our teams as they prepare for the next Olympic Games in Rio in 2016.
"We look forward to working with the England Hockey Board and our other partners to deliver a world class Championships."
Iain Edmondson, Head of Major Events at the promotional organisation London & Partners added: "London & Partners is delighted to have played our part in securing another major milestone in the legacy of the Olympic Park. The Major Events team at London & Partners have worked extremely hard to bring city decision-makers together to support the England Hockey Board and therefore we're very proud of today's outcome. We truly believe that winning this calibre of event will attract more Londoners to support and participate in hockey but it will also continue to inspire international visitors and investors to see London as the world's most exciting major events destination."
Margaret Ford, Chair of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, said: "We are delighted to be playing host to the EuroHockey Championships 2015, Women and Men, in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It is a fantastic opportunity to use the new Lee Valley Hockey Centre to generate even more sporting, commercial and job opportunities after the Games. In winning the right to host 2017 World Athletics Championships and now the EuroHockey Championships 2015, we are beginning to see the powerful draw that the Park is having in attracting major events."
Derrick Ashley, Chairman of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, which will own and operate the world class Lee Valley Hockey Centre after the Games said: "This is fantastic news for hockey and this major event is a key part of the long term legacy plan for the sport and the venue. The EuroHockey Championships 2015 will be the first major international sports event to be held in the Olympic Park after the 2012 Games and it will provide a major boost to the sport, inspiring youngsters to take up the sport and helping to create a new generation of winners and champions."
As part of a vibrant sporting and green landscape in the north of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Lee Valley Hockey Centre's standard 3000 seat capacity will be expanded to hold up to 15,000 spectators with two world class pitches, dedicated media facilities, a supporters village and event management offices. Following the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Lee Valley Hockey Centre will be used by a multitude of users from community groups, schools and clubs to international players for major championships.
The nine day event would comprise of 300 players and team management from approximately ten different nations. The diversity of London's communities will ensure a warm welcome and enthusiastic support for every nation participating in the EuroHockey Championships 2015.
photos Janos Schmidt