Young people first to use 'smurf turf'

Hockey competitors at the Sainsbury's 2013 School Games will be the first to compete on the famous blue and pink hockey pitch used in the London 2012 Games.

Hockey competitors at the Sainsbury's 2013 School Games will be the very first to compete on the famous blue and pink artificial hockey pitch that was used at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The pitch, nicknamed the 'smurf turf', was one of the stand-out images of the London 2012 Olympic Park in Stratford and it will now make the 163 mile journey north from the Riverbank Arena to its new home at Abbeydale Sports Club in Sheffield after the city won a bid to receive the special turf.

The Sainsbury's 2013 School Games, a major multi sport event for young athletes, will take place in Sheffield in September next year and will see over 1,500 school aged athletes competing across a range of sports. It is delivered by the Youth Sport Trust and funded by Sport England through the National Lottery.

Seb Coe, LOCOG Chair said: "We always intended to re-use as much as we could of our Games facilities and equipment. This is an example of the legacy of London 2012. We were delighted to donate the famous blue pitch and its pink surround to such a good new home at the Abbeydale Sports Club. The pitch will be used by both the local community and elite hockey players as well as for the School Games. It will also give the club a piece of Olympic history."

John Steele, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said : "We have had a wonderful summer of sport this year and the blue and pink hockey pitch was one of the stand out features of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Having the hockey pitch in Sheffield for the Sainsbury's 2013 School Games is fantastic news and will bring added excitement for the young hockey players that will be competing."

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