The visually striking hockey pitches within the Olympic Park.
The visually striking hockey pitches within the Olympic Park.
(Photo: FIH / Olympic Delivery Authority / Getty Images)

Some of the world’s best hockey teams have been announced to play in the Visa International Invitational Hockey Tournament, a test event for London 2012 and part of the London Prepares series. The announcement was made at the Hockey Writers' Club Awards Luncheon, which took place at the Royal Thames Yacht Club in Knightsbridge, London on Tuesday 17th February. 

The event, which will take place at the Riverbank Arena from 2-6 May 2012 in the Olympic Park, will feature the men’s Australian and German teams who are currently ranked number one and two in the world, the current women’s World Champions, Argentina, as well as both the men’s and women’s British teams as they prepare for the Games. 

The tournament will also feature a men’s team from India, women’s teams from China and Korea and will give all eight teams the chance to compete in a tournament for the first time in the Olympic Park. The Riverbank Arena, a temporary venue, will be fully completed and will host up to 60,000 spectators over the eight sessions of the tournament.

The Visa International Invitational Hockey Tournament will be used by London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) to test key operations ahead of the Games. This will be the first time spectators have been in the Riverbank Arena, so spectator flows will form a key part of testing. The field of play and video referral, timing, scoring and results systems will also be tested at the event as well as the workforce. Athletes and technical officials will also be able to familiarise themselves and test their operations ahead of the Games.

David Luckes, Head of Sport Competition at LOCOG said: “The Riverbank Arena is one of the most striking venues in the Olympic Park with its blue and pink pitches and it is vital that we run an event which will test our field of play, the venue and our workforce before the Games. We are delighted to have been able to secure such a strong line-up of team’s for the Visa International Invitational Hockey Tournament and offer the spectators the chance to see world class hockey in the Olympic Park just a few months before the Games.”

Leandro Negre, President of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) added: “This is an exciting time for the FIH to see the Riverbank Arena and the blue pitches in use for the first time in senior international competition. With just three months to go to the Olympics, the Visa International Invitational Hockey Tournament will provide a taste of what is to come, with hockey of the highest quality.”

Tickets will be on sale for the Visa International Invitational Hockey Tournament in early spring.

The Visa International Invitational Hockey Tournament will take place in the Olympic Park at the same time as six other Olympic test events. This will form part of LOCOG’s testing of spectator flows in the Park.

 


 

Schedule for Visa International Invitational Hockey Tournament:

Wednesday 2 May
Session One:
11.00-12.30 Argentina v China – Women’s Preliminaries
13.15-14.45 Great Britain v Korea – Women’s Preliminaries
Session Two:
16.15-17.45 Australia v India – Men’s Preliminaries
18.30-20.00 Great Britain v Germany – Men’s Preliminaries

Thursday 3 May
Session One:
11.00-12.30 Argentina v Korea – Women’s Preliminaries
13.15-14.45 China v Great Britain - Women’s Preliminaries

Session Two:
16.15-17.45 Germany v Australia – Men’s Preliminaries
18.30-20.00 Great Britain v India – Men’s Preliminaries

Friday 4 May
Team Training

Saturday 5 May
Session One:
09.30-11.00 China v Korea – Women’s Preliminaries
11.45-13.15 Great Britain v Argentina - Women’s Preliminaries
Session Two:
14.45-16.15 Germany v India – Men’s Preliminaries
17.00-18.30 Australia v Great Britain – Men’s Preliminaries

Sunday 6 May
Session One:
09.30-11.00 3rd v 4th  – Women’s 3 v 4 Match
12.15-14.15 1st v 2nd  - Women’s Final Match

Session Two:
15.45-17.45 3rd v 4th  – Men’s 3 v 4 Match
18.30-20.30 1st v 2nd  – Men’s Final Match

 


 

About Riverbank Arena:

The Riverbank Arena is a temporary stadium based at the northern end of the Olympic Park.  The centre will be the only fully outdoor venue with seating for 16,000 spectators who will enjoy stunning views south across the Olympic Park.

The complex includes two pitches, one for competition and one for warm up. The main pitch will stage all of the 76 Olympic hockey matches which will be spread over 14 days of competition from 29 July to 11 August. There will be over 380 competitors from 24 teams competing in the men’s and women’s competitions.

The Riverbank Arena will also be used to host both the 5 and 7-a-side Paralympic Football Competitions. The warm up pitch at the Riverbank Arena will host the 5-a-side competition. The main pitch will host the 7-a-side competition. Competition runs from 31 August – 9 September 2012.

After the Games, the temporary arena will be dismantled and elements will be moved to Eton Manor in the north of the Olympic Park which will offer multi-purpose sport and leisure facilities including two hockey competition pitches.

Source: London 2012