Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby is delighted to confirm that Leicester City Football Club Owners, Thai Duty-Free giant, King Power, has confirmed they will be the title sponsor of the first ever Wheelchair Rugby Quad Nations tournament to be held in Leicester in March.
Leicester Arena is to play host to World Champions and Paralympic Gold, Silver and Bronze medallist teams from around the globe to compete at the inaugural staging of the Wheelchair Rugby Quad Nations.
Taking place from 9th – 11th March 2018 at the newly built 2400 seat Leicester Arena, the Wheelchair Rugby Quad Nations is an international tournament that will feature four teams all ranked within the top 5 in the World. As reigning European Champions Great Britain will be looking to capitalise on home court advantage as they take on the World’s very best.
Ranked number 1 in the World, Australia are the two-time Paralympic Gold medallists and reigning World Champions, they will be joined by their fellow Rio finalists and number 2 ranked USA who won the Silver medal in Rio and are the most successful team in the sports 40-year history. Completing the line-up will be Japan who were the Bronze medallists in Rio and currently ranked number 3 in the World – they will be looking to build on their first ever Paralympic Wheelchair Rugby medal as they look towards hosting the Paralympics in 2020.
David Pond, Chief Executive of Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby, said: “King Power is at the heart of Leicester’s sporting community and we are very excited about them joining us as our title partner. We have already been bowled over by the support for the event by the Leicester community and to have such a big name supporting the tournament is fantastic.”
King Power – the world’s seventh biggest Duty-Free retailer – has strongly established links in Leicestershire sport, as owners of Premier League football club Leicester City since 2010.
King Power CEO Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said: “We’re extremely proud to support the inaugural Quad Nations tournament and to continue to promote the development of world-class sport in Leicester.
“For generations, the passion of the people of Leicester has made the city one of the UK’s sporting strongholds, both for established and emerging sports. Quad Nations Wheelchair Rugby will be a fine addition to Leicester’s culture of international sporting excellence.”
One of the only full-contact disability sports, Wheelchair Rugby is played by two teams of four who aim to score by carrying the ball across the opposing team’s line. Players compete in specially-designed manual wheelchairs and must meet minimum disability criteria classifiable under the sport classification rules.
Wheelchair Rugby was first recognised as a full medal sport at the 2000 Paralympic
Games in Sydney, Australia and has since been an integral part of the games. It was also played as part of the 2017 Invictus Games, a parasport event for wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel.
All four teams will play each other over the first two days before the pool leaders go forward to the Sunday final and the 3rd and 4th place fight it out for the Bronze medal. The tournament will be sanctioned by the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF) who consider Leicester to be the ideal host city for the event due to its rich sporting heritage and the continued success of Leicester City Football Club and Leicester Tigers Rugby team.
The official line up for the Team GB includes Jonathan Coggan, Ryan Cowling, Myles Pearson, Chris Ryan, Ayaz Bhuta, James Roberts, Aaron Phipps, Stuart Robinson alongside Nicholas Cummins, Muhammed Islam, Gavin Walker, and Jamie Stead all of whom play for the Leicester Tigers’ own Wheelchair Rugby team.
David Pond, Chief Executive of Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby, added:
‘GBWR is really excited that we can stage this tournament in Leicester. It’s critical that we play the top teams in the world if we are to be medal contenders at the World Championships in the summer. Leicester has been an important training venue for us and with Leicester Tigers Wheelchair Rugby in the city we are hoping for lots of support for GB.’
The Wheelchair Rugby Quad Nations tournament will take place 9th – 11th March 2018 at the Leicester Arena with daytime and evening sessions over 3 days.
Tickets start at just £5 with special offers available for groups and families. Tickets are available from //www.wrquadnations.com along with a full match schedule.
The full Press Release can be downloaded here.