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28 October 2014

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London 2012 Olympics logo
The 2012 games are coming to Old Loughts

Old Loughts to host Olympics

Oliver Rogers
The home of the Old Loughtonian's hockey club is set to be made available to Olympians during the London 2012 games, the Chairman has told BBC Essex.

Luxborough Lane in Chigwell will become a training venue for elite athletes in the hockey competition once the paperwork has been completed.

The Organising Committee for the Olympic Games in London said negotiations will continue for a period and a contract will eventually be signed.

"It's been sometime in the making after we were mentioned in the bid document submitted in Singapore in 2005. "
Old Lought's Chairman, Peter King.

Peter King - the Chairman of Old Loughts - is delighted that the club are involved and says he's been in talks for sometime:

"It's been sometime in the making after we were mentioned in the bid document submitted in Singapore in 2005 and we are now the designated training venue for the Olympics Games."

It will mean the current water-based all-weather pitches at Luxborough Lane, in Chigwell, will have to be upgraded:

"By 2012, the pitches we have at the club will have to be the same as the ones in the Olympic Park. Now what standard those pitches need to be is not very clear yet. There is some talk of moving to a non-water-based surface, but the likelihood is that it will be water-based," said Mr King. 

Old Lought's Director of coaching Julian Halls
Old Lought's Director of coaching Julian Halls

The Hockey Centre for the 2012 Olympics tournament will be constructed in Olympic Park, Stratford. Mr King noted that his club is very close to the main venue and said this was a consideration in the decision announced at the International Hockey Federation's Congress held at Lord's Cricket Ground, London, in October 2006.   

Ex-Great Britain hockey player and Director of Coaching at Old Loughts, Julian Halls, told BBC Essex it would be a positive experience for the Chigwell based side.

He said. "It would be good for the club if we had international players and teams training here at Luxborough Lane. People can come down and watch them train and to be part of the Olympics can only be a positive experience."

A contract will have to be signed in the near future to confirm the details of the deal for use of the facilities in Chigwell.  

audio Peter King talks to BBC Essex's Oliver Rogers >
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last updated: 17/02/07
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