England captain Kate Walsh admits the women’s Investec Hockey World League semi-final will be like the Olympics all over again after London was named as the host city of the event.
As part of England Hockey’s ongoing commitment to fulfilling the legacy provided by last summer’s Olympics, the World League semi-final will be staged at the University of Westminster's Quintin Hogg Memorial Sports Ground.
Eight nations will take part in the weeklong event, which begins on June 22 this summer with England, Olympic silver medallists Argentina, Australia and China all qualifying automatically given their top eight ranking in the world.
Also a World Cup qualifying tournament, the remaining four women’s teams will be decided following the completion of the World League Round 2 in Brazil in March.
And Walsh, who captained Great Britain to bronze at her third Olympic Games at London 2012, is relishing the chance to compete on home soil once again this summer.
"Having the Investec World League in London will be fantastic for players and spectators alike," said Walsh, who recovered from a fractured jaw to continue to play at the Olympics last summer.
“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.”
Hockey was the third largest spectator sport at London 2012 with more than 630,000 people visiting the Riverbank Arena and England Hockey chief executive Sally Munday is relishing hosting another successful tournament.
“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,” said Munday.
“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.”
© Sportsbeat 2013