Sport in Milton Keynes

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Sport in Milton Keynes covers a range of professional and amateur sport in the Borough of Milton Keynes. There are professional teams in football, ice hockey and basketball. Most other sports feature at amateur level.

Archery[edit]

There are archery clubs in Newport Pagnell and Shenley/Loughton.[1]

Armwrestling[edit]

Milton Keynes Armwrestling club has produced some of the best in the country: in 2011 it came away from the British championships with 1st place left&right 110 kg+ class, 1st place left&right 75 kg class and 2nd place left&right in the 80 kg class.[citation needed]

Athletics[edit]

Marshall Milton Keynes AC is one of England's leading Athletic clubs. Their web page is here.

Badminton[edit]

With the National Badminton Centre located in Loughton just across the A5 from Central Milton Keynes, badminton is an important sport.

Basketball[edit]

Milton Keynes hosted professional basketball between 1998–2012 before the MK Lions were forced to re-locate after the closure of Prestige Homes Arena and no suitable alternative for hosting professional games in the city was found. In addition to the Lions British Basketball League team, the franchise established a ladies team, youth teams at all age groups and the Milton Keynes College Lions basketball academy. Amateur teams in the city include the Wildcats and Shenley Scorpions Basketball Club.

Cricket[edit]

  • Milton Keynes CC is based in Milton Keynes Village and plays in the Morrant Four Counties Cricket League.
  • Milton Keynes City CC is based in Woughton on the Green and plays in the Morrant Four Counties Cricket League.[2]
  • Bletchley Town CC is based at Manor Fields, Fenny Stratford and play in the Cherwell Cricket League. For a brief time they were known as Milton Keynes Park CC (formed 2003) and were based at Campbell Park. It won the Buckinghamshire Senior Cup in 2004.[3]
  • Shenley Church End CC are also based at Manor Fields, Fenny Stratford and play in the Morrant Four Counties Cricket League.[4]

Cycling[edit]

Team Milton Keynes and North Bucks Road Club are the leading clubs for racing cyclists, with Team MK also incorporating Triathlon and Duathlon as well as Mountain Biking. Milton Keynes Cycling Association also holds circuit racing at the Bowl.

In September 2008 Milton Keynes played host to the Race Headquarters for The Tour of Britain in the buildup to the race. Stage Two of the race began in front of the Central railway station, before heading to Newbury.[citation needed] In 2009, Milton Keynes hosted the first round of The Tour Series, a new programme of ten town and city centre cycling races.[citation needed]

Golf[edit]

There are courses at Abbey Hill (Two Mile Ash), West Bletchley and Wavendon. Just outside the Borough, there are courses in Aspley Guise, Soulbury and Woburn.

Hockey[edit]

There are many all-weather pitches throughout Milton Keynes – most of which are within school grounds, including the two pitches at Stantonbury. There are also two water based pitches at Woughton on the Green, which is the home ground of Milton Keynes Men's and Women's Hockey club. Teams from Milton Keynes Hockey Club compete at many levels in leagues covering the South East of England.

Fishing[edit]

With its miles of river and canal bank and its balancing lakes, Milton Keynes is a favoured location for anglers.

Football[edit]

League[edit]

The only Football League team based in Milton Keynes is Milton Keynes Dons F.C., formed in 2004 following the relocation of Wimbledon F.C. to MK in 2003, its subsequent entry into administration and relaunch. The team is based at Stadium mk in Denbigh and playing in League One during the 2014–15 season.

Non-League[edit]

The better known non-League clubs in the Borough include:

The North Bucks & District Football League and Sunday league football attract many smaller teams, which are too numerous to list individually.

Under 11's to under 18's play in the Milton Keynes and Border Counties Youth Football League.

Notable former non-League clubs[edit]

  • Bletchley Town F.C. were members of the Spartan South Midlands League. After being refounded in 2005, the club only managed to survive 9 more years before it folded.
  • Loughton Orient was a football club based in Loughton founded as "Abbey National F.C.", they joined the South Midlands League Division One in 1994 but were isbanded in 2007.
  • Milton Keynes City are as of 2009 defunct as a senior football club. This name has been used by at least two clubs—in the first instance Bletchley Town became Milton Keynes City in 1974 before being wound up in 1985, then Mercedes-Benz assumed the name from 1998 to 2003. In the years before their demise, the second incarnation of the team reached the Premier Division of the Spartan South Midlands League. The name is associated solely for junior football.
  • Wolverton A.F.C., the oldest club in the area folded, were reinstigated, but are in abeyance. In the years before going into administration, they reached the Premier Division of the Spartan South Midlands League. Until 2011, it had the oldest (and almost certainly the first) football stand and at one point in the club's history it had the longest name of any football club in the United Kingdom—"Newport Pagnell & Wolverton London & North Western Railway Amalgamated Association Football Club".

Six a side football[edit]

Milton Keynes is also home to many five and six-a-side football leagues.

Ice hockey[edit]

The town has two semi-professional ice hockey teams, these being Milton Keynes Lightning (founded in 2002) of the EPL and Milton Keynes Thunder (founded in 2001) of the ENL. Both teams play at the 2,500 capacity Planet Ice Arena which is situated close to Milton Keynes Central railway station. The town also used to be home to professional team Milton Keynes Kings from 1990–1996 and 1998–2002 who played at the same arena, although during 1990–1996 it was known as the bladerunner arena. There are also a number of junior, ladies and recreational adult teams who also play at the arena.

Korfball[edit]

Milton Keynes Bucks Korfball Club was Milton Keynes's first korfball club, founded in 2004, and won the Oxfordshire League and Cup double in 2006, 2007 and 2008. A second club, Milton Keynes City, launched in autumn 2006. Milton Keynes City were successful in winning the OKA league 2 title in 2010. A third club, Milton Keynes Roos, in mid-2007 was launched. All three clubs welcome and coach all players of both sexes from beginner level upwards. Milton Keynes has been awarded the 2010 European U21 Korfball Championships,[7] to be held in Arena:MK.

In 2013 Milton Keynes Roos, Rogues, Colossus, Bears and Camels merged to become Milton Keynes Lakers Korfball Club [8] and in January 2014, MK Lakers became the largest Korfball club in Milton Keynes with 35 members.

In March 2014, MK Lakers won the SMKA (South Midlands Korfball Association) Cup - beating Harrow Vultrix in the final.[9]

Martial arts[edit]

This popular family of sports / traditional arts has clubs[10] in each of the six major disciplines (Aikido, Ju Jitsu, Judo, Karate, Tae Kwon Do and T'ai chi).

Milton Keynes is the home to the central region of Minakami Bushido Karate Dojo,[11] which practices Shotokan Karate. The club has classes aimed at 4-7yr olds known as the Tiny Tigers, then main classes which students of any age can attended, meaning children and adults train together. There are lessons most days at various leisure centres across Milton keynes including Shenley and Stantonbury leisure centre's Lessons and gradings are structured around Khion, Kata, Kumite, weapons training and conditioning to improve strength, control, fitness and co-ordination.

Motorsport[edit]

Formula 1[edit]

Most notably, the Red Bull Racing Formula One team is based here, in Tilbrook. Prodrive, one of the world's largest motorsport and automotive technology specialists, have a division in Milton Keynes.[citation needed] Previous notable though defunct teams included Arrows, Brabham, Stewart Grand Prix and Jaguar F1.

Karting[edit]

Daytona motorsport operates a kart track near Milton Keynes Central railway station, which has been in operation since the mid-1990s. The track maintains publicity through visits by well-known professional drivers, ranging from Mark Webber to Rob Austin. Formula Fast, an indoor kart racing track, opened in 2013 as a leisure facility for the public and a potential training platform for the next generation of motorsport athletes. The track is located near the Stadium mk in the adjacent Mount Farm.[citation needed] The track was itself designed and visited by Formula One professionals during construction, and is one of the largest in the UK.

Motorcycle Speedway[edit]

The main team in the city were the Milton Keynes Knights. Until the late 1990s, Speedway had been staged at Milton Keynes at two venues (Milton Keynes Stadium at Ashland, and at Elfield Park). The local team, known as The Knights, started out at the Ashland Greyhound Stadium, and then moved to a venue known as Elfield Park. However, both sites have closed: the former is now a housing district and the latter is a brownfield site with plans announced by the leaseholders of National Bowl to redevelop it (which have yet to materialise). In 2012 The Knights have been revived, competing in the Midland Development League, however the revived team has not competed in Milton Keynes yet, with the home matches are staged at the Rye House Stadium in Hoddesdon.

Parkour[edit]

Milton Keynes boasts a growing Parkour or freerunning movement. Due to its urban landscape, the Central Milton Keynes area is an ideal area for parkour activity.

Pool[edit]

There are five long established leagues which cover the town: Bletchley Friendly, Milton Keynes Clubs, Milton Keynes Sunday, Milton Keynes Tuesday and Newport Pagnell. Two current Interleague teams exist, Milton Keynes 'A' and MK Shooters (Formerly Milton Keynes 'B'), which have dominated the Buckinghamshire Interleague since its reformation in 2003. Milton Keynes has also provided the backbone of the Buckinghamshire County squad since the early 1990s due to the town being the long time base of the Buckinghamshire County Pool Association, although BCPA currently play from and are based in Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire.

Rowing[edit]

Milton Keynes Rowing Club operates out of Caldecotte Lake.

The club was founded in 1995 and hosted the inaugural annual Milton Keynes Regatta on 22 May 2010.

Rugby League[edit]

Milton Keynes Wolves R.L. is a rugby league team established in 2012, playing in the East Men's League.

Rugby Union[edit]

Local teams[edit]

The major Borough clubs are Bletchley RUFC, Milton Keynes RUFC and Olney RFC.

Bletchley Rugby Club, who play at Manor Fields, routinely put out three Senior XVs, a ladies side and a Vets side. The 1st XV play in South West 1 East (level 6) and the 2nd XVs in the Berks, Bucks & Oxon 2 North table. The 3rd XV and Vets side play ad hoc friendly local fixtures.

Bletchley Ladies is a developing team which is intending to enter the RFUW leagues in the 2011 season.

In addition to the 120+ adult section, the club has a Youth (U7s to U17s) set-up with over 200 members. In the 2005/06 season the club's U17 squad were Buckinghamshire County Cup champions, and finalists in the South West Division Bowl.

The playing activities at Bletchley are supported by a large number of volunteers, including the 50+ Vice-Presidents of whom many are ex-players. Bletchley celebrated its 60th anniversary during the 2007/08 season.

In 2003 Bletchley RUFC were the first sports organisation in Milton Keynes/North Bucks to gain the Rugby Football Union 'Seal of Approval' and Sport England Clubmark.[citation needed] In 2006 the club gained Stage 2 accreditation from the same bodies.[citation needed]

In March 2006, Milton Keynes RUFC won the Bucks Plate against Slough RUFC who are in the league above. Milton Keynes went on to finish as runners up in the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Premier League and were promoted to Southern Counties North. The Club has over 400 members including a mini and junior section with players between the ages of 6 and 18.

Milton Keynes RUFC began as Wolverton RUFC but changed its name in 1973,[12] based in Greenleys. In April 2011, the club transferred to a new ground in Emerson Valley.[13] The move was opposed by the local community,[14] but planning permission was granted on 6 September 2007.[15]

Milton Keynes Under 15s were 2009/10 County Cup Champions and First Division Champions with 5 players playing for Buckinghamshire. Two players play for Wasps Academy and one player plays for England Under 16's.[citation needed]

Olney has for many years been a rugby town with its rugby team dating back from 1877, called Olney Rugby Football Club, which has four regular senior teams. They also cater for Colts rugby, women's rugby and mini rugby. The club holds many social events for the town, one of these being a Rugby 7's tournament, with competitors coming from all over the country. Olney's Rugby is of a high standard in amateur rugby, winning the Lewis Shield in 2007, the Southern Counties North League in 2008 and the Bucks County Cup in 2010.[16] Olney 1st XV play in the South West 1 East (level 6) league.

Olney Women's team compete in the RFUW National Championship.

Other teams[edit]

Despite having no Premiership teams, Milton Keynes has previously hosted home games for Northampton Saints and Saracens F.C. at stadium:mk.

Premiership[edit]

Saracens F.C. were the first club to host a rugby match at Stadium MK when Bristol visited on 10 May 2008, providing a grand stage for Rugby World Cup 2003 winner Richard Hill’s 288th and last appearance for the men in black. A last-minute try from Kameli Ratuvou ensured Hill’s 15-year club career finished on a winning note.[17]

The Heineken Cup[edit]

On 24 January 2011, the Northampton Saints Rugby union club announced that their 2010-11 Heineken Cup quarter final match against Ulster would take place at stadium:mk, because their Franklin's Gardens ground is too small to meet the minimum 15,000 seats demanded by the organisers.[18]

The Saints had previously indicated that they might play future major games at stadiummk as their proposal to expand Franklin's Gardens using an enabling (ASDA supermarket) development has encountered planning difficulties.[19]

Accordingly, their quarter-final match was played at the stadium on Sunday 10 April 2011 in front of a (then) stadium record crowd of 21,309 supporters[20] who witnessed the Saints (the 'home' side for the day) beat Ulster 23–13.[21] This secured for the Saints a place in the semi-final of the Heineken Cup where they went on to beat USA Perpignan, again at the stadiummk.[22]

On 21 January 2012, Northampton Saints played their final 2011–12 Heineken Cup pool match at stadiummk against Munster. Saints were defeated 36–51 but the game set a new stadium record attendance of 22,220.[23]

Rugby World Cup 2015[edit]

On 8 October 2012, the organisers of the 2015 Rugby World Cup announced that the Stadium was one of seventeen to be short-listed for detailed appraisal, leading to the final choice of twelve stadiums to be announced in March 2013[24] It was officially announced as a venue for the 2015 Rugby World Cup on 2 May, and with the venue capacity to expand to 32,000, it will host 3 fixtures.

Pool D 1 October 2015 France  v  Canada
Pool B 3 October 2015 Samoa  v  Japan
Pool A 6 October 2015 Playoff winner v  Fiji

Skiing[edit]

Milton Keynes is home to the Xscape indoor ski slope, which means it has snowmaking facilities and is therefore not a dry ski slope.

Sky diving[edit]

The Airkix indoor sky diving facility is located at Xscape.

Swimming[edit]

There are a number of pools in the Borough, with a competition pool at Stantonbury. The performance swimming club is City of Milton Keynes SC.

Table tennis[edit]

Table Tennis is thriving in Milton Keynes, which has one of the largest leagues in the UK. With a league that currently boasts over 60 teams and a state of the art, purpose-built Table Tennis Centre in Kingston, which many England ranked players like to call their home venue, the scene is well served.

Other club venues in the league include Greenleys, Newport Pagnell, Woburn Sands, Stony Stratford and the Open University, amongst others.

T'ai Chi[edit]

There is a T'ai chi club based at the Open University.

Volleyball[edit]

  • MK City VC is a volleyball club formed in 2006 from the ashes of corporate team Abbey VC. It plays out of Oakgrove Leisure Centre.In its first season the men's team completed a league double taking by the Herts and Northants crowns.
  • MKVC is a volleyball club which field men's and women's teams in the Herts and Northants league as well as a men's team in the National Division 3.

Wrestling[edit]

Total Action Wrestling (TAW) in a Pro-Wrestling promotion based in Wolverton. Notable guest trainers include Doug Williams, Alex Shane, Kenny Omega, Davey Richards and British wrestling legend Johnny Kincaid. The school was originally in Bletchley Leisure centre until the final session in December 2009. The promotion runs events in Milton Keynes, Luton, Dunstable, Hitchin and other towns in the region. The training school moved to Atlas Fitness in Wolverton in January 2010.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Welcome to SALT, Archery in Milton Keynes
  2. ^ Milton Keynes City Cricket Club website
  3. ^ Bletchley Town CC - Home
  4. ^ Shenley Church End Cricket Club - website
  5. ^ http://www.intheteam.com/nbstpfc
  6. ^ Newport Pagnell Town F.C.
  7. ^ England awarded 2010 European U21 Championships
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ Milton Keynes Martial Arts Home Page
  11. ^ http://mbkd.net/
  12. ^ Bucks role for rugby president – Milton Keynes Citizen, 20 July 2011
  13. ^ City say goodbye to Greenleys – Milton Keynes Citizen, 20 March 2011
  14. ^ 07/01000/MKCOD3 CONSTRUCTION OF COMMUNITY SPORTS FACILITY INCLUDING PAVILLION, GROUND RE-LEVELLING AND DRAINAGE TO CREATE 4 PITCHES (RUGBY, BASEBALL/SOFTBALL), THREE 15 METRE HIGH FLOODLIGHTS AND 110 PARKING BAYS
  15. ^ Minutes of the meeting of the Development Control Committee, MK Council
  16. ^ Olney Rugby Football Club home page
  17. ^ http://www.rugbyworldcup.com/home/news/newsid=2067542.html
  18. ^ Northampton forced to move Ulster tie to Milton Keynes – BBC Sport
  19. ^ Northampton Saints chief considering stadiummk move BBC Sport 27 August 2010
  20. ^ http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5i_121s1CkdCCvwFqpgxUokceSyZQ?docId=N0506681302446580231A
  21. ^ "Northampton 23–13 Ulster". BBC News. 
  22. ^ Heineken Cup semi-final: Northampton Saints 23–7 Perpignan Northampton's Jim Mallinder wants more after reaching Heineken Cup final – The Guardian, Sunday 1 May 2011
  23. ^ "Northampton Saints 36 - 51 Munster Rugby". European Rugby Cup. 27 January 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  24. ^ Stadium mk in the running to host World Cup rugby matches in 2015Milton Keynes Citizen, 8 October 2012

External links[edit]