London 2012 - One Year to Go

With a year to go until the London Olympic Games, boost your knowledge and find out what David Faulkner and Kate Walsh have to say on Great Britain Hockey's preparations.

Hockey venue

London 2012 Blue Pitch - News imageLocated in the north of the Olympic Park, the Olympic Hockey Centre is still in construction but when finished it will hold more than 15,000 spectators.  Only temporary, the hockey centre will be dismantled after the Olympic Games, with a legacy facility replacing it at Eton Manor, a short distance away.  The Lee Valley Hockey Centre, as it will be known, will have 3000 permanent seats with the capacity to increase to around 15,000 for major international hockey tournaments. 
London 2012 will see a blue hockey pitch used for the first time in an Olympic Games.  With its distinctive pink run off areas, it’s certain to catch the eye and the imagination.

Tickets

All of the Olympic hockey tickets have now sold out.  A total of 630,000 spectators will see hockey live at the Olympic Games.  Each day’s play will see three separately ticketed sessions of two matches.  Whether you missed out on Olympic tickets or got some and are now looking forward to building up your knowledge of the teams, there will be plenty of opportunities to watch hockey in the flesh in the build up to London 2012, including the Super Sixes in January 2012, the official Olympic test event from 2-6 May 2012 and the 2012 London Cup.

The Great Britain hockey teams

England's Barry Middleton, in action for Great Britain as he gets away from his Dutch opponent during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, 13 August 2008Great Britain has qualified for the Games as the host nation. 

Currently, each of the men’s and women’s squads contains around 30 athletes, all of whom train at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre.  For the Games, Great Britain Hockey will nominate 16 athletes plus two ‘P’ accredited (reserve) athletes to the British Olympic Association (BOA), who will officially select them to compete in hockey as part of Team GB.  Both the men’s and women’s teams have been training as Great Britain but have recently split into their home nation squads for the summer’s tournaments, including the Champions Trophy, Champions Challenge and the forthcoming EuroHockey Nations Championships.  The athletes will return to training together as Great Britain from September.

The State of Play

David Faulkner, Performance Director of Great Britain Hockey: "In 2005, we set ourselves a target of climbing one world ranking place every year through to the 2012 Olympic Games.  At that time both our men’s and women’s teams sat 11th.  Today both England teams [from which Great Britain takes its ranking] sit fourth in the world going into the European Championships in August, placing Great Britain in a strong position to compete for a place on the podium in London."

Read more from David Faulkner on the nature of a home Games on More Than The Games here.

Kate Walsh, captain of England and Great Britain women [speaking to Robin Scott-Elliot of The Independent]:  "For us it is business as usual...We keep on training, our days are packed. There's no real time for anything else – that's the countdown for us. Our vision that we set in 2009 was gold and we were not just saying [that] because it was London. We broke it down into what that means day to day. What we eat, sleep, breathe is part of that gold standard. Last year was fantastic, a real breakthrough for us to get into the semi-finals of the World Cup. We're there, knocking on the door and pushing for the podium."

Read more from Kate in the full article by Robin Scott-Elliot in The Independent here and in her interview with Anna Kessel of The Guardian here.

Read Alex Danson's interview with with The Sun here and the Swindon Advertiser here.

Read Anne Panter's interview with Yahoo Eurosport here.

Support Team GB

Twitter LogoOn Twitter all day today you can show your support for the Olympic Games and Great Britain using the hashtag #1yeartogo.  Show your support for hockey by adding #hockey to the Tweet.

Show your support online by visiting www.london2012.com/1yeartogo.  It’s easy - all you have to do is visit the site, choose the team you’re supporting, and the site will do all the work adding the right hashtags to your tweet for you. Your tweets could appear in the London 2012 Twitter Stadium view for the world to see and you’ll also help the team you choose to climb our scoreboard which shows who is most supported on Twitter.