Pursuing sporting excellence? 

Being here for everyone means we are keen to recognise those pursuing sporting excellence.  

That is why we support local talented athletes by allowing them to use our world-class facilities free of charge to enhance their training programmes.  

To be apply for our Elite Athlete scheme, please download and fill in the document linked below and return via email to memberships@boltonarena.com.   

Our elite athletes  

Here are some champion athletes who have benefitted from our support.  

Ayaz Bhuta 

Paralympic Wheelchair Rugby Player  

Ayaz Bhuta is a British Paralympic Wheelchair Rugby Player who currently plays for the Great Britain National Wheelchair Rugby Team.  

 Ayaz first played wheelchair basketball but has been playing wheelchair rugby since 2009.  

After making his Paralympic debut representing Great Britain at the 2016 Summer Paralympics, finishing fifth.   

Ayaz has seen success, winning the European Wheelchair Championships in 2015 and 20717. Most recently, Ayaz was part of the GB team that won gold in Wheelchair Rugby at the 2020 Summer Paralympics.  

Wheelchair rugby athlete from Bolton Ayaz Bhuta

Tom O’Brien 

Invictus Games athlete 

A British Army veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, Tom O’Brien signed up to ‘sports recovery’ as a coach for shotput, discus, power lifting and archery. He then joined Preston Harriers to continue his interest in these events. 

Tom then looked to take part in these events for himself. A shoulder injury meant he had to prioritise discus as opposed to shot, as well as power lifting, and he hasn’t looked back since. 

Tom was the best British thrower at the 2018 Warrior Games, also winning bronze in the powerlifting category. 

He then went on to compete at the 2022 Invictus Games, the inspirational competition for veterans, and wounded, injured and sick servicemen. 

Jack Cullen 


Jack Cullen is a British middleweight, super-middleweight professional boxer who hails from Little Lever, just on our doorstep.  

He has held the IBF International super-middleweight title since July 2021 and challenged for the Commonwealth middleweight title in 2019.  

As an amateur, Jack competed in the men’s middleweight event at the 2014 English National Championships. 

His current record stands at 21 wins, four losses and one draw. Of those 21 wins, he has stopped nine of his opponents. He’s been stopped for each of his four losses. 

Boxer from Bolton, Jack Cullen

Elias Kachunga 


Elias Kachunga played 91 times for our close neighbours Bolton Wanderers before his contract ended in the summer of 2023.   

The former Huddersfield Town and Sheffield Wednesday man scored eight times for the Wanderers, including both semi-finals and final of the Papa Johns Trophy. 

Elias took advantage of our excellent facilities to keep in shape when the Trotters’ Lostock training ground was closed during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Bolton Wanderers football player Elias Kachunga