Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby Line-up for King Power Quad Nations Announced

Following the huge success of the inaugural King Power Quad Nations tournament in 2018, which saw over 5000 supporters watch Paralympic Gold, Silver and Bronze medallist teams from around the globe compete in Leicester, Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby have announced their players for the 2019 tournament in a line up which includes athletes who have previously represented their country in the Paralympic Games.

Described by spectators and sports commentators as brutal, the supercharged tournament will be held at Leicester’s Morningside Arena between Friday 1st March and Sunday 3rd March 2019, bringing together three incredible days of the world’s best ‘Murderball’ teams for this intense, elite-standard competition.  Competing, Great Britain will be up against Japan, who won the Gold medal at the World Wheelchair Rugby Championships held in Sydney this summer; Canada who is currently ranked 4th in the world and France ranked 7th.

Representing Great Britain will be three Leicester Tigers players; Gavin Walker, Jamie Stead and Leicester University student, Nick Cummins along with a surprise selection: Kylie Grimes. Kylie last played international wheelchair rugby in 2012 and returns to the game following a three-year spell with British Athletics. As an experienced low point player Kylie provides the coach with more opportunities to use high pointers Aaron Phipps and Stuart Robinson.

The 2019 Great Britain King Power Quad Nations Line up is:

Kylie Grimes                                       0.5(F)

Jonathan Coggan                             0.5

Ryan Cowling                                     1.0

Nicholas Cummins                           1.5

Gavin Walker (Vice Captain)        2.0         

Chris Ryan (Captain)                       2.0

Jamie Stead                                        2.5

James Roberts                                  3.0

Aaron Phipps                                   3.5

Stuart Robinson                              3.5

The three-day tournament marks an important performance opportunity for

Great Britain ahead of the 2019 European Championships in Denmark where

Team GB will defend their title, and ahead of the World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge which will be played alongside the Rugby World Cup in Tokyo in October and involve the top eight teams in the world.

Fast paced and violent, players compete in specially-designed, manual wheelchairs and must meet a minimum disability criterion, classifiable under the sport classification rules.  All competing athletes were either born with physical disabilities, or have suffered illness which has affected their mobility, or else experienced life-changing injuries through accidents, including those serving in the armed forces.

Head Coach Paul Shaw said, ‘As always it has been a difficult selection and we have had to leave out some strong and experienced athletes but it’s good to have competition for places and to be able to try some new lines. We have a really good competition programme this year which includes defending our European title in the summer, so we want to get off to a strong start’.

David Pond, Chief Executive Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby comments, “I’m really excited to be returning to Leicester for this tournament which again sees us play some of the top teams in the world, including Japan, recently crowned as World Champions. I like the selection and it’s good to see a female athlete earn a place in the squad. Kylie is proof that if you are good enough then being female is no barrier to making this team. As always I am humbled by the support we are getting from our sponsor King Power and from the many businesses and local people in the city.”

The King Power Wheelchair Rugby Quad Nations tournament will take place 1st – 3rd March 2019 at the Morningside Arena with daytime and evening sessions over three days. Family tickets and concessions for Schools and Students will also be available. For more details visit www.wrquadnations.com

Happy 3rd Birthday to US!

Leicester Arena Celebrates

Whether it is the Leicester Community Sports Arena, Leicester Arena or as we are now known Morningside Arena Leicester (many thanks to Morningside Pharmaceuticals for their continued support!), one thing is certain…we have come a long way since opening the doors on January 27t 2016!

As well as the many great events that we have seen come to the city, some of which are featured in our recent #MorningsideMemories blogs (check that out HERE!), we have also become a key part within the local community as a hub for academic, social and sporting provision.

As part of the Leicester Riders Foundation and through our partnership with Leicester College we regularly welcome people from all backgrounds and ages as part of curriculum study and the wide selection of Basketball sessions offered though the Foundation every week.

With over 75,000 people having watched the successes of our Leicester Riders team to date at home games and a further 25,000+ taking part in regular activity annually at the venue – from elite, Junior National League and development training through the Riders themselves, to local league, Leicester Cobras, Ultimate Frisbee & Volleyball among those activities being hosted here at Morningside Arena Leicester.

2019 promises to be another year of development of growth with some fantastic events lined up alongside the continued progress of Rob Paternostro’s Leicester Riders team.

The entire Arena team would like to thank those that have joined us on the journey so far including staff, sponsors, partners and visitors who have helped to put Morningside Arena on the map.

We are now off to enjoy some well-deserved birthday cake as we continue to plan the next year and beyond!

For the latest on Leicester Riders visit the official website HERE or follow them on Facebook & Twitter @Ridersbball.

For the latest Morningside Arena Leicester news check out our social media platforms and the official site HERE.

#MorningsideMemories – Arena Grapples with Global Wrestling Stars

While the Arena is now considered a great destination for ring based sports with Boxing events a staple of Arena life, it was the stars of Wrestling’s Ring of Honor promotion that were the first to build a ring on centre court and wow an audience back in November 2016.

Little did those in attendance that day know that it would fast become a ‘where were you when’ moment with many of those standing in the squared circle that day going on to become some of the biggest names in the business across the globe!

Heading the pack were Adam Cole, Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly (NXT), Lio Rush (WWE) & Donovan Dijak (NXT) who can all now be seen across WWE programming and the groundbreaking, Matt & Nick Jackson, The Young Bucks (AEW). In addition Marty Scurll, Will Ospreay (NJPW) & Jay White (NJPW), all household names in their own right, winning numerous titles around the world and all widely considered among the very best on the planet.

The card was made up with many more globetrotting, title winning stars – Alex Shelly, Chris Sabin, Christoper Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, Dalton Castle and the Briscoes making up a memorable night of high flying, hard hitting action.

#MorningsideMemories – Asian Music Superstars Take the Arena Stage

As recently as last week the Arena announced it’s very first SOLD OUT music show, the Winner of Indian Idol 2018 Salman Ali headlining alongside Neelanjana Ray & Nitin Kumar on February 22, 2019 in front of 3,000 fans.

This is the latest event that will welcome stars of the Asian music scene with the likes of Shaan, Guru Randhawa, Sonu Nigam & Babbu Maan among those to have wowed audiences as they transformed the Arena with spectacular shows paving the way for the February 2019 Indian Idol show.

Guests have travelled from right across the country to see their favourite acts perform and these nights have provided another great example of how flexible a venue Morningside Arena has become, hosting a diverse range of events, shows and activities.

Hosting up to 3,000 people, Morningside Arena is emerging as a go to venue for acts with the potential to host more fans than any other venue in the county.

For the latest news on forthcoming events keep an eye on our various platforms, simply search ‘Morningside Arena’ on Facebook & Twitter or check out this very website.

#MorningsideMemories – Big Time Boxing Returns to the City of Leicester

The arrival of the Arena onto the scene certainly added something that had been missing from the ‘Sporting Capitals’ resume for some time, as Big Time Boxing returned to the County quickly making Morningside Arena a go to place for Boxing in the East Midlands.

With only Rendall Monroe making a mark in recent years on the national stage since the days of Chris Pyatt and Tony Sibson, it was left to a new breed of local fighters to bring about a return of live televised Boxing events.

First up was Frank Warren & BT Sport in February 2017, who showcased the true potential of the venue as a go to destination for fight fans.

Birmingham’s Tommy Langford headlined a night that introduced the Arena crowd to Leicester’s own Lyon Woodstock & CJ Challenger. Also on the card were two of the country’s hottest commodities in Daniel Dubois & Anthony Yarde, the former going on to return in October 2018 on the ‘The Time is Now’ card, the latter returning for this February’s third visit of Warren & BT Sport.

The October card was another absolute cracker of a show, welcoming double Olympic gold medal winner, Nicola Adams as well as a barnstormer of a main event that pitted Leicester’s Woodstock v Archie Sharp.

December 2017 also welcomed Barry McGuigan’s Cyclone Promotions who broadcast the ‘All or Nothing’ card live on Channel 5 that featured an explosive showing from Chantelle Cameron.

The momentum does not look like stopping anytime soon on the fight front as we gear up to welcoming Frank Warren and BT Sport back on February 23rd for another all action night of Boxing, tickets available NOW HERE!

#MorningsideMemories – Wheelchair Sports take centre stage

As well as being the home to the Leicester Cobras Wheelchair Basketball Teams, the Arena has also proudly hosted international competition for both Wheelchair Basketball & Rugby, the Continental Clash and Quad Nations representing each discipline respectively.

The very best wheelchair sportsmen and women have graced the Arena showcasing incredible skill, power and ability, inspiring those in attendance.

The British Wheelchair Rugby Quad Nations returns to Morningside Arena Leicester March 1-3 2019. Tickets available for this latest showcase event HERE!

You can also keep track of the Leicester Cobras on Twitter (@LeicesterCobras) #MorningsideMemories

#MorningsideMemories – John Bishop stars at Arena’s 1st comedy show

The Arena added its name to the list of great venues across Leicester on the comedy circuit by hosting the excellent John Bishop in February 2018.

Bishop’s ‘Winging It’ tour made a welcome stop at the Arena and provided laughter aplenty courtesy of one of the country’s best loved comedians.

In the words of Bishop himself on his personal Twitter account, the Liverpudlian “popped the (comedy) cherry” of the Arena with a “great crowd & great staff” and that it may become a “regular venue”.

This show opened the venue up to a new audience and the prospect of more comedy in the future… Bill Bailey and his ‘Larks in Transit’ tour is next up in June 2019! Tickets available HERE!

#MorningsideMemories – Leicester Riders finally come HOME!

After something of a nomadic existence with spells at John Sandford Sports Centre & Loughborough University’s Sir David Wallace Centre, the Leicester Riders pursuit for a permanent ‘home’ came to fruition with the opening of the then Leicester Community Sports Arena in January 2016.
Already positioned as one of the very best in British Basketball, The Leicester Riders would move into their new home hosting the Surrey Scorchers on opening night, a night that welcomed a full house on an historic and memorable night for players, staff, volunteers and fans alike.
The move to the Arena only further cemented Rob Paternostro’s side as a dominant force in the BBL, winning back-to-back trebles and also becoming the first British team to take on European competition in over a decade in 2018.

Jack Catterall on Ohara Davies – He Quits

JACK CATTERALL BELIEVES a blueprint has been established for defeating super lightweight rival Ohara Davies, with the pair set to meet in the ring on October 6 at the Leicester Arena, live and exclusive on BT Sport.

The Chorley southpaw, now working out of the North West base of new trainer Jamie Moore, has studied the highlight reel of Davies’ sole loss to Josh Taylor in July 2017, although it was not a fight he watched live as he was present on the same night at the Copper Box supporting his promotional stablemates.

Word quickly reached him that the unbeaten record of the then flamboyant Davies had gone up in smoke in Scotland via a seventh round stoppage and Catterall suspects his next opponent sought an exit from the fight when the going got tough.

However, the former British champion accepts that Davies poses a fairly unique puzzle for him to solve given the reach advantage he holds over most opponents.

“Listen, I respect him as a fighter,” insisted the 25-year-old in his latest Fighter Diary posted on www.frankwarren.com. “He can fight and he’s had a few alright wins although I don’t think he has beat anyone great.

“He’s been beat and we’ve seen the blueprint. He quits. He’s got long arms, I don’t believe he is the greatest boxer so we will just see on October 6 how I dismantle him.

“He is an unusual one to prepare for given his dimensions but one thing I do believe is my timing and distance is something that works for me. I’ve sparred Bradley Skeete and a lot of tall awkward fighters.

“I won’t have too much trouble preparing for Davies.”
Davies has vowed not to stoke the fires ahead of the fight with any provocation on social media, which Catterall says suits him just fine, but he will respond in kind if any pot-shots do end up being posted in his direction.

“There might or might not be a bit more spice in the build up to this fight, but I like to think to think I don’t get too involved in it all.

“I’ll definitely not be taken for an idiot. If you have got something to say, then say it and I will respond. I’m not out there to troll any fighter and talk nonsense to build a fight.

“Everyone is looking forward to this one, they know it is a good fight and I don’t believe there is any reason to talk trash. I am just excited to get the fight on.

“Hopefully this will be the final step for me towards challenging for a world title. I have defended the WBO Intercontinental so many times that I should have a ring for it by now!

“This should be a good fight to set me up for the next step and I won’t be running away from him – I am coming to beat him. I am sure he will be doing likewise because he needs a good win more than I do.”

‘The Time Is Now’ is headlined by Jack Catterall v Ohara Davies. Leicester’s own, Lyon Woodstock defends his WBO European Super-Featherweight title against Archie Sharp. Heavyweight prospect Daniel Dubois takes on former world title challenger Kevin Johnson. Olympian and double gold medallist Nicola Adams will be fighting Isabel Millan for the Interim WBO World Female Flyweight Title and Leicester’s British Super-Featherweight champion Sam Bowen also feature on a major night of boxing televised live on BT Sport.

Tickets are priced at £40, £60, £100, £150, £200 and are available to purchase from Eventbrite and Ticketmaster.

The Arena Spreads its Wings

Leicester Arena Celebrates

Following the Leicester Riders completing yet another winning season in 2016-17, including three lots of silverware, and the defence of their League title, the Morningside Arena has been focussing on seeking out new business opportunities in a wide range of sport and entertainment sectors.

The Arena has completed a busy few months since March with new Events to the fore – including a couple of Bollywood concerts, a Frank Warren boxing promotion, which was covered live on BT Sport, a SuperLeague netball match involving Loughborough University, a South African music event, the Leicester Mercury Business Awards, the L Factor charity singing event, and the national karate championships.

These Events are either new to Leicester, or are attracted by the potential 3,000 capacity in the arena, which has 62 metres by 41 metres floor space, by far the largest of any similar facility in the city of Leicester. Seating capacity, depending on the Event and staging, can go up to 2,800. The arena also has two large 7 metre by 3 metre screens that can show video backdrops, advertisements or promotions all adding to the spectacle and enjoyment of the evening.

What the venue does not have is a long track record in many of these Events, nor does it have established relationships with the various music and event promoters, so to that extent, the last few months have been extremely valuable in building that track record and credibility. What has been established is the Arena can be a really excellent music venue, with lots of flexibility in terms of staging and seating, and with plenty of room for concert goers to get around the venue, and get drinks and snacks.

The two Bollywood events have proved extremely popular, and were well received with big name artists from the subcontinent, and with the visitors from Leicester, the county and throughout the East Midlands. We have had multiple enquiries since those events, and a number of other events are already being pencilled in the diary.

The boxing event was also very well received, and boxing fans in Leicestershire can expect more events like this coming up in the fall.

So if you have an Event and need a large flexible space to stage it, come along and talk to Simon Ricketts and his team at the Arena.