26 February 2013: England Hockey and the International Hockey Federation (FIH) are delighted to announce that London has been selected to host the women’s Investec Hockey World League Semi Final.
The event, a World Cup qualification tournament, will be staged as part of England Hockey’s ongoing commitment to fulfilling the legacy provided by the London 2012 Olympic Games. It will offer thousands of sports fans the opportunity to see world class hockey live in England again after watching the Great Britain women’s team win Olympic bronze at the Riverbank Arena.
Continuing their support of the women’s team, Investec will be the headline sponsor for the weeklong tournament, which will take place at the University of Westminster’s Quintin Hogg Memorial Sports Ground in Chiswick, London from 22-30 June 2013. The hosting of this event means that the next Investec London Cup will take place in 2014.
England Hockey Chief Executive, Sally Munday, is thrilled with the decision to award the tournament to England, “Following the success of hockey at the Olympic Games last summer we have seen unprecedented interest from people wanting to play and watch our sport. The Investec World League Semi Final provides the perfect opportunity for the British public to see many of our Olympians on home turf again after our women’s team captured the love of the nation last summer. As the only British team to win a medal at the London Games we are looking to continue the increase in publicity for women’s sport and our aspiration to inspire a generation.”
On announcing England as hosts, FIH President Leandro Negre said, “I am delighted that the Investec World League Semi Final tournament will be played in England. This is a great start to the London 2012 hockey legacy for the country. I would especially like to thank England Hockey for stepping in at short notice to host such an important FIH event.”
Raymond van Niekerk, Investec, commented, “It is fantastic to be welcoming world class hockey back to London. Women’s hockey has enjoyed a worthy boost following the success of the GB team at the Olympics and the Investec World League will help to maintain the popularity of hockey this summer. It’s a great honour to extend our support to the event and we look forward to seeing the teams in action this June.”
Hockey was the third largest spectator sport at London 2012 with more than 630,000 people visiting the Riverbank Arena to watch the best teams in the world. Following the Games and a successful Hockey Nation campaign, an extra 30,000 adults picked up a stick during 2012, making hockey the biggest growing team sport last year.
Eight nations will compete at the Investec World League in London. Alongside England, Olympic silver medallists Argentina, Australia and China all gain automatic qualification to the tournament given their top eight ranking. The remaining four women’s teams will be decided following the completion of the World League Round 2 in Brazil in March.
England captain and three-times Olympian Kate Walsh is delighted with the opportunity the tournament will bring: “Having the Investec World League in London will be fantastic for players and spectators alike. The support during the Olympics was incredible and we are delighted to have gained a lot of new fans who will be able to come and watch us in action again. Home support can make all the difference to our performances and we can’t wait to recreate the Riverbank atmosphere all over again. Hosting this tournament really shows the legacy of London 2012 starting to take shape for our sport.”
Following the success of the Investec London Cup in 2011 and 2012, England Hockey is continuing its partnership with the University of Westminster to host the Investec World League.
Tickets for the Investec World League Semi Final will go on sale on Monday 4 March at 9:00am.