Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Hockey has made a bold bid for our attention in 2012. It has announced that its pitches will be blue - and pink around the edges too. "The colour blue will define Hockey in 2012," says Locog's Debbie Jevans. "I really like the pink surround," declares Great Britain international Alex Danson. "It's another great example of hockey's willingness to lead the way."

All concerned stress that the great benefit of blue is that it makes a nice sharp contrast with the white ball for the benefit of both players and spectators, live and armchair alike. But if a need for an extra bit of brand definition played a part in the decision to switch from traditional green, the hockey authorities can hardly be blamed. Their sport, after all, has to fight for attention along with all the other smaller sports. After that, it has to make the most of whatever exposure it gets.

The designers of the two-pitch Olympic hockey centre - due for completion next spring - where the Olympics matches will be held anticipate it's being "one of the four cornerstones of the Olympic Park." But even if the tournaments are thrilling the venue will not be permanent. The longer-term future of top hockey in Britain lies in Eton Manor at the Park's northern tip. During the Games this site will contain training pools for participants in the various aquatic events, then host the Paralympic wheelchair tennis. The plan is that the facility will then be converted into a joint tennis and hockey centre, where up to 15,000 fans of big time hockey will be able to gather.

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