Monday 03 August 2015

With more than 850 Transplant Athletes from across the UK and overseas competing, the Westfield Health British Transplant Games NewcastleGateshead 2015 (30 July -02 August), were officially the best Games ever, attracting 2500 spectators.

Graham Wylie, Chair of the Local Organising Committee for the Westfield Health British Transplant Games NewcastleGateshead 2015, said: “The NewcastleGateshead Games were the biggest ever. The atmosphere across the four days was electric, and I’d like to congratulate everyone involved and especially those taking part, on a truly fabulous event.

“Amongst the highlights was the opening ceremony, which embodied the spirit of The Games and reminded us what they are all about – a celebration of the transformative effects of transplantation and a way of honouring those who have given the ultimate gift of life. The people of Newcastle, Gateshead and the wider North East really backed The Games and I was delighted to see so much of the local community amongst the spectators and supporters.”

Contestants took part in a range of events including track & field, archery and five-a-side football at Gateshead International Stadium, swimming at Sunderland’s Aquatic Centre, golf at Close House, cycling at Leazes Park, and so much more.

On Saturday 1200 athletes, supporters and members of the public took to NewcastleGateshead’s iconic quayside for the Speedflex Donor Run. The mass participation event helps to raise funds for the Games and is ran by athletes in commemoration of their donors who have given the gift of life, as well as members of the public and Games supporters.

Sunday saw the biggest turn out with 3000 athletes and supporters at Gateshead International Stadium for an adrenalin fuelled day of track & field events with a surprise visit from TV presenter Jeremy Kyle who started the Tug-of-War and helped spur the athletes on.

Inspired by the Games, Jeremy commented that he would be signing the Organ Donor Register and said: “I’m truly honoured to have been able to support the British Transplant Games 2015 in NewcastleGateshead. I’ve met some wonderful people, whose achievements have inspired me greatly, transplants really do transform lives.”

The inspirational Games, which are now in their 38th year, take place annually to raise awareness of the desperate need for Organ Donors. Organised by the charity Transplant Sport, The Games is one of the largest annual multi-sports events in the United Kingdom.

“Lynne Holt, Trustee at Transplant Sport, the charity behind the Westfield Health British Transplant Games NewcastleGateshead 2015, said: “This year’s Games really were tremendous, the athletes taking part were all brilliant and really got into the spirit of the Games.

“Competition aside, The Games are a valuable platform to help raise awareness of the issues surrounding organ donation.  With 7000 people waiting for a life-saving transplant and three people dying daily because they can’t get the organ they need, I would urge everyone to sign the organ donor register and share their wishes with their family and loved-ones. Currently, the family consent rate is just 57% in the UK, meaning even if you are on the register it’s not guaranteed your organs will be used should your loved-ones object. By having a simple conversation and letting family know your wishes we can all help to change attitudes towards organ donation across the UK.”

Westfield Health Chairman Graham Moore said: “We’re delighted to have supported the British Transplant Games in what has been another great year. The fact that this has been the most successful Games to date makes it even more special.

“2015 is the first time in 20 years that the number of organ donors has actually fallen, so it was even more important to ensure we raised awareness and encouraged people to sign up to the register. Especially when there are still three people dying every day while waiting for a transplant.

“The Games were an inspiration this year, as they always are, and the whole team at Westfield Health were proud to be involved.”

 

Award winners

 

Avon Trophy (Child 12-14 years)

Samuel Griffiths (Freeman Children)

 

Belfast NKF Trophy (Senior female)

Emma Wiltshire (Birmingham Adult)

 

Birmingham Hospital Shield (Overall

children’s team)

Birmingham Children

 

Children’s Kidney Trust (Children’s kidney

team)

Evelina London VIPS

 

Donald & Edith Gould Memorial Cup

(Children’s liver team)

Leeds Children

 

Donor Family Network Trophy (Super

Senior female)

Sarah Moody (Addenbrookes Adult)

 

Donor Family Network Trophy (Super

Senior male)

Martin Graham (Newcastle Adult)

 

Exeter District KPA (Veteran female)

Catherine Whitworth (Leeds Adult)

 

GIFT Trophy (Children’s heart team)

Freeman Children

 

Glasgow Western Infirmary (Senior male)

Matt Cave (Bristol Adult)

John Tibbutt (Addenbrookes Adult)

 

Guardian Health Trophy (Child 15-17

years)

Nicole Mackenzie (Evelina London VIPS)

 

Guys/St Thomas Trophy (Male adult)

Liam Barnett (Addenbrookes Adult)

 

Heart Research UK Trophy (Super veteran

male)

William Noble (Wythenshawe Adult)

 

Heart Transplant Trophy (Heart

transplantee)

William Noble (Wythenshawe Adult)

 

John Gorna Trophy (Swimming team)

Kings Adult

 

Medical and Professional Ins (Child 9-11

years)

Esben Rost (Leeds Children)

 

MLS Trophy (Super Super Veteran

female)

Jill Edwards (Harefield Adult)

 

MLS Trophy (Super Super Veteran

male)

Michael Foster (Harefield Adult)

Malcolm Souza-Lewis (Addenbrookes Adult)

 

Pauline Andrew Memorial Trophy (Child

under 5)

Harry Mortimer (Manchester Children)

 

Ross Taylor Rose Bowl (Overall adult

team)

Addenbrookes Adult

 

Royal Ulster Constabulary Trophy (Super

Veteran female)

Karen Rockell (Kings Adult)

 

Sports Council Trophy (Veteran male)

Miguel Anson (Royal Free Hospital Adults)

 

Tesco Challenge Trophy (Heart & Lungs

Team)

Papworth Hospital Adult

 

TSAGB Trophy (Female adult)

Emma Dallman (Birmingham Adult)

Kelly Young (Kings Adult)

 

TSUK Trophy (Child 6-8 years)

Riley Greenwood (Manchester Children)

 

Supporting Quotes

Gateshead Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure, Councillor Gary Haley said: “Gateshead Council was extremely proud to co-host such an amazing event. These athletes have been a true inspiration to us all and I was delighted to take part in the Donor Run, a fantastic event that brought together athletes and members of the public all taking part to raise awareness and vital funds.  I’d encourage everyone to become a donor, I’ve personally signed up and my family know of my wishes.”

Councillor Ged Bell, Cabinet Member for Investment and Development at Newcastle City Council said: “It’s has been a huge privilege for NewcastleGateshead to host such an inspiring and exciting event. The people of the region were out in force to cheer on all the athletes and give them the warm Geordie welcome we are renowned for. We have all been moved by the stories of these athletes and I’d like to encourage everyone to sign up to become a donor, to help the three hundred people in our region who are on the transplant list.”