A new dawn for national hockey

MONUMENTAL OCCASION: Tim Whiteman who was left humbled by the official opening of the new home of hockey at the Olympic Park
MONUMENTAL OCCASION: Tim Whiteman who was left humbled by the official opening of the new home of hockey at the Olympic Park

Tim Whiteman believes national hockey has entered a new dawn after helping to officially open the new home of the sport at the Olympic Park in London.

The former Harleston Magpies player featured for Great Britain on Tuesday as they took on Olympic gold medallists Germany in the Nations Cup in front of a sell-out 3,000 capacity crowd at the their new home venue inside the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

And despite suffering a narrow 2-1 defeat on the day, Whiteman believes the occasion will prove a monumental step towards a bright future for hockey in Great Britain.

“It was a fantastic occasion and the sell-out crowd was better than I expected, it was brilliant,” he said.

“To have a new home is awesome. The pitch is sunk down so the crowd are all around you, the atmosphere was just incredible and to be a big part of that occasion was really special.

“I felt incredibly proud walking out in front of all those fans, it is something everyone dreams of doing and in all honesty I was humbled by it; it gave you a sense of inspiration.

“It is great for the sport and a new dawn really. We haven’t had a proper home venue since Milton Keynes and I don’t think there will be a venue like the new one anywhere else, it’s awesome.

“It felt really special to have a home venue like that and it is great that we have been given something back.

“A new home of hockey is all any of us wanted and it is nice to know it has been 
recognised as part of a new legacy and for the future of 
aspiring players.

“Unfortunately we lost the match 2-1 which was disappointing because we have been playing well recently.

“However, yesterday was more about trying to bring a bit of excitement back to hockey and promote the sport, which is a huge deal.

“The organisers put on a great occasion and it was a really positive and special day for everyone involved.”

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