Hockey is making a return to London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for the 2015 women's and men's EuroHockey Championships. The two competitions will run side-by-side over 10 days in August and the venue is Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, located on the former site of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The event’s website is now live at www.eurohockey2015.co.uk, and the schedule for the tournament has been released, which includes a Friday night start, and concludes with the women’s final for the first time.
More than 400 athletes and coaching staff will be involved in the event, which will see the top eight men's teams and the top eight women's teams in Europe fighting it out for the EuroHockey Championship crown. No-one who experienced the excitement generated in the Olympic Park in 2012 can fail to be excited at the prospect of top level hockey making a return to London.
The tournament, which takes place from Friday 21 August to Sunday 30 August 2015, will showcase the very best of European teams, highlighting the power and precision that is a pre-requisite of the modern game of hockey. It also promises a family-friendly environment with National pride on show in abundance.
Just looking at the teams who have already qualified will whet the appetite of hockey fans. Who could fail to be excited at the prospect of the Netherlands with their stylish, flowing hockey taking on the energy and flair of Italy; or the pin-point accuracy and focus of the Germans against the bustling and hustling of the Irish. The spread of hockey across Europe is mirrored by the presence of some exciting teams taking their place on the European stage among the established nations – Poland, Russia, France and Italy have been steadily developing the sport at the domestic club level and their presence at this prestigious tournament will add both intrigue and entertainment for the hockey-loving spectators.
And then there are the personalities involved. While no team will be anywhere near finalising squads until the summer of 2015, there is every reason to hope that among those athletes taking part will be some of the stars who have lit up the stage in The Hague at this year's Rabobank Hockey World Cup. Tom Boon (BEL), Christopher Ruhr (GER), George Pinner (ENG) and David Harte (IRE) are all likely to shine in the men's tournament; while on the women's side, Nina Hasselmann (GER), Roos Drost (NED), Lily Owsley (ENG) and Scotland's Emily McGuire could all have big tournaments.
Here is the complete list of nations that have qualified: Men: Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, England, Spain, Ireland, Russia and France. Women: Germany, England, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Scotland, Italy and Poland.
EuroHockey 2015 promises to be the perfect place to watch some truly world-class sport in a family-friendly atmosphere.
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