Pupils put Olympic water rafting venue to the test

Pupils from Tower Hamlets made a splash yesterday, at the only newly constructed Olympics venue, already open to the public.

The students from Bishop Challoner Sixth Form in Whitechapel and Oaklands School in Bethnal Green tackled the fast-flowing waters at Lee Valley White Water Centre.

The pupils got a taste of the 2012 Olympic venue as a part the centre’s Schools Festival. Their skills were tested as they rafted the same white water that the world’s best athletes will face next year during five days of intense competition on its Olympic Standard Competition Course. The venue at the River Lee Country Park in Hertfordshire will host canoe and kayak competitions during the games.

Oaklands PE Teacher Dan Forde said: “Today has been an unforgettable experience for all the pupils involved. I am sure they will be talking about this for a long time.”

Chair of the Olympics organising Committee Seb Coe, said: “The festival has been a fantastic way to bring the Olympic Games close to the young people. They can now say: I’ve raced the same course as the Olympians.”

The six-day festival, funded by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, is giving 2000 young people across London, Essex and Hertfordshire the chance to experience the Olympic venue.

The �31 million venue was the first newly-constructed Olympic venue to be completed when it opened at the end of 2010.