An artist's impression of the London 2012 Hockey Centre. Photograph: Populous/London2012/Getty Images
"The colour blue will define Hockey in 2012," says Locog's Debbie Jevans. "I really like the pink surround," declares Great Britain’s International Hockey Player, Alex Danson. "It's another great example of hockey's willingness to lead the way."
Historically the game of hockey was always played on natural grass and when the change occurred during the 1970’s the green colour of the grass was adopted to replicate the traditional playing environment. Over the years the game became more high-paced and dynamic, thus demanding incredible levels of skills and fitness alike. The implementation of the ’’Self Pass’’, just contributed to making the game even faster.
As they say: ’’There’s always a first time for everything’’ in this case it will be the first time ever that the game will be played at the Olympics and FIH World level, on a different colour than the traditional green. This is also the first time at the Olympic Games where the ‘’Self Pass’’ by the FIH will be implemented and this makes the game even faster. These advances have been made possible by the introduction of synthetic astro turf pitches which now in turn enables the introduction of new colours.
So, what benefits will the BLUE turf have for hockey?
One of the great benefits of the blue pitches is the sharp contrast it will create with the white ball. Great Brittan International Hockey player, Alex Danson who was involved in the colour test said that he adapted quickly to the change. This will benefit us as spectators both those fortunate enough to be at the games and also those in front of the tellie and even the players. It’s a fact that hockey is one of the smaller sports in the world and even more so in our country (South Africa) and the sport should make the most of whatever exposure it can get.
The pink run off areas will provide a dynamic and striking look to Hockey in 2012.
The Hockey Centre will be the only full outdoor venue at the Games, so the two pitches (one for matches and the other for warm up) are likely to be prominent landmarks to compliment the permanent surrounding venues. There will be over 380 competitors and 24 teams competing in the men’s and women’s divisions. The main pitch will stage all of the 76 matches which will be spread over 14 days of competition from 29 July to 11 August 2012.
You can apply for tickets at www.tickets.london2012.com.
BLOG BY: ELZANNE JACOBS