On Tuesday 2nd October twelve lucky Year 6 children went to the Lee Valley Centre to seen a men’s hockey international between Great Britain and Belgium, the 3rd ranked team in the world.
This was a special match arranged to commemorate the 30th anniversary of GB’s gold medal in the Seoul Olympics and scheduled at noon to maximise school attendance.
After a brisk walk through the Olympic Park, passing first the London Stadium, now the home of West Ham United, and a display celebrating Greg Rutherford’s gold medal jump at London 2012, ( see photos) we took our seats amongst a large and very excited crowd just before the national anthems.
This was coach Danny Kerry’s first game and Great Britain rallied from going an early goal down to level matters before half time.
Belgium were very dangerous on the counter attack and scored midway through the third quarter. An ecstatic home crowd acclaimed a scrambled second goal from Great Britain four minutes from time but hopes were dashed by a late Belgium winner.
As if this 3-2 thriller wasn’t enough, a shoot-out was also on offer with five players per side each having eight seconds to score from the 23 metre line. The superior stick skills and composure of the Belgian side resulted in a 4-2 margin to the visitors.
Our seats were immediately behind the Belgium dugout and after the game a number of their players were kind enough to sign autographs for our enthusiastic party.