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Ricoh Arena to host Unity International Games

A world title martial arts fight will be among the highlights of the first Unity International Games to be staged in Europe at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.
The organisers of the Unity International Games – which will be run along a format which has already proved hugely successful in America – will host the Night Show of Champions in the E.ON Lounge between 5.30pm-8pm on Sunday, August 18.

The best competitors from the tournament held during the day on August 18 will be battling it out in the night show to become Grand Champion and win a 5ft trophy and prize money. There will also be spectacular demonstrations by five world champions who are leading the Amerikick training camp and seminars.

Heather Bellamy, director of Unity International Games who is a black belt, said they had been on fact-finding missions to America before launching the event for the first time in Europe.

“The night show at the Ricoh Arena will be spectacular and we are really excited about the initial feedback from those involved in martial arts in the UK,” she said.

“It is an extremely successful format in America with some of the divisions broadcast on ESPN and we want to make this a really special experience for competitors and spectators.

“The WKU World Title Fight is fully sanctioned and all the winners from the competition under NASKA rules earlier in the day will take part in the Grand Championships so there will be plenty of action for martial arts fans to watch.

“A professional stage will be built along with lights and the action will be projected onto three large screens so I’m sure there is going to be a cracking atmosphere.

“Our overall aim is to raise the standard of martial arts competitions to another level in this country and bring it up to a par on what takes place in America.”

The show night is running alongside a professional training camp and seminars in Halls 4 and 5 which will be held on Friday, August 16 and Saturday, August 17 which will get underway at 9am.

The camp will feature top NASKA seeds and multiple world champions Americans Jarrett Leiker, Becca Ross, Ross Levine and Vincent Scarduzio along with UK-based Luke Scott.

Heather said: “All five world champions will be passing on their experience and skills in the camps and seminars and it is an opportunity that any aspiring martial artist should not miss.

“We chose the Ricoh Arena not only because its location in the Midlands makes it accessible to as many martial artists as possible throughout the UK but because of it top-class facilities.

“We have been to some martial arts competitions where everyone is cramped together but there is plenty of space and we are all set for a memorable three days.”

Chris Owen, senior events manager at the Ricoh Arena, said hosting the Unity International Games emphasised the versatility of the venue.

“This event runs in three distinct parts – the training camps and seminars; the competition; and the night show which should appeal to martial artists whether they are just taking up the sport or have a great deal of experience,” he said.

“The E.ON Lounge is perfect for staging a top level competition, the night show and world title fight and the fact tickets are already selling well bodes well for a great atmosphere and a night to remember.”

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