The Groundsman

June 2012

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26 FEATURE The stage is set Harrod UK has supplied a range of hockey equipment for the Olympic events being held in the new Riverbank Arena... the Groundsman June 2012 Last month's Visa International Invitational Hockey Tournament was watched by over 60,000 spectators and used by the London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic Games to test key operations ahead of this summer's Games - including tests on the field of play, video referral, timing, scoring and pitch equipment which has been supplied by Harrod UK. The company's UK Sales and Marketing Director, Les Saunders, said the teams and officials alike showed "huge interest" in the Harrod equipment, with new designs on show for the very first time such as London Blue Hockey Goals, Team and Official's Shelters and an innovative range of hockey storage equipment. "A home Olympic Games will only happen once in most people's lifetime," he commented. "To have the opportunity of showcasing our company, equipment and capabilities at this level is simply fantastic." The tournament featured Great Britain alongside some of the world's top teams including Australia and Germany in the men's competition; and in the women's event, current world champions Argentina. A temporary structure, the Riverbank Arena has two water-based synthetic pitches which were unveiled in October 2011. To reflect the colours of the Games, the field of play is London Blue – providing high levels of contrast with the yellow ball – and the pitch surrounds are coloured London Pink. The Visa tournament was the first International Hockey Federation (FIH) sanctioned event played on a blue pitch. The Arena will host both the men's and women's Olympic Hockey competitions, with a total of 24 teams competing. During the 2012 Games, the facility will also be used for Paralympic five- and seven-a-side football.

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