Credit: Osborne Hollis

Mayor of Kitakyushu to Sign Commitment to GB Wheelchair Rugby


Leicester is to play host to a special delegation from Japan as the Mayor of Kitakyushu and other dignitaries come to the city to attend the launch of the King Power Quad Nations Wheelchair Rugby tournament and to confirm the city’s ongoing support of the Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby Squad ahead of the World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge and the Paralympic Games hosted by Japan in 2020.

The host city for the Welsh Rugby Union during the Rugby World Cup in October 2019, Kitakyushu have also agreed to host the Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby squad for the next two years. As part of this initiative the city will provide considerable support for the Great Britain team during planned training camps ahead of the World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge, the Paralympic Test Event and the Paralympic Games in 2020. GBWR will support the city with a number of civic engagements in schools and businesses and will open their doors for the citizens of the city to watch GB training sessions.

The Mayor of Kitakyushu will enjoy a tour of Leicester including a visit to the King Richard III centre and Leicester Cathedral before travelling to the city’s Morningside Arena to watch the Japan v France match at the King Power Quad Nations Wheelchair Tournament.

As part of his visit, Mr Kitahashi will receive a presentation on ‘Applied Sports Science Support to Wheelchair Rugby’ by Professor Vicky Tolfrey, Director of the Peter Harrison Centre of Disabled Sport at Loughborough University.

Following the match, The Major, Mr Kenji Kitahashi, has been invited to Leicester Town Hall where he will meet with the Right Worshipful Lord Mayor of Leicester, Councillor Ross Grant, and Leicester City Council CEO Andy Keeling. This will be followed by Mr Kenji Kitahashi and David Pond CEO GB Wheelchair Rugby signing the Memorandum of Understanding between the city of Kitakyushu and Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby.

He will end his visit to Leicester with a formal dinner hosted at the King Power stadium.

Speaking about the visit, David Pond, CEO of Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby said: “It’s an enormous honour to welcome Mr Kitahashi and delegates from Kitakyushu to Leicester. I am grateful for the support of the city of Leicester in hosting this important visit and I am looking forward to taking wheelchair rugby to Kitakyushu and for its citizens to enjoy an incredible sport played by incredible athletes”.

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