Olympic and World champions were present at the official reopening of a white water centre today.
Reigning World Champion Richard Hounslow and Olympic champions Etienne Stott and Tim Baillie were present for the official reopening of the The Lee Valley facility in Station Road, Waltham Cross.
The centre has had a £6.3m refurbishment since hosting the Olympic canoeing events in 2012 and is now home to Great Britain’s elite canoeists.
The facility is also used as a training centre for talented young athletes and a venue for the public to have a fun day out.
Richard Hounslow said: “This is the best white water centre in the world and it will benefit the athletes immensely.
“There are bigger drops here and a more challenging course than our previous course in Nottingham, which is about 30 years old now.”
Olympic gold medallist Tim Baillie said: “I’m incredibly inspired by how this venue has been an incredible success.
“The skiing equivalent would be to build an alpine mountain on the outskirts of London.”
Shaun Dawson Chief Executive of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority said: “As well as benefiting the elite athletes and next generation of paddlers, everyone will be able to take advantage of this inspirational world class venue.”
In a response to the demand for the centre's services the redevelopment includes increased parking and changing facilities and an extension to the cafe as well as building a new pavilion on the site.
The centre has received about 350,000 visitors since it opened in 2011 and is expected to receive around a 30 per cent increase on that figure in the next three years.
The project was funded by Sport England and Lee Valley Regional Park Authority and British Canoe Union.