Thursday 8 June marked 50 days until games begin

John Higgins attended a publicity event at the Red Triangle Snooker Club in Cumbernauld to mark 50 days until the start of the games, and he met some of the competitors who will be taking part in July’s event.

The four-time world champion said: “I’m delighted to support the Westfield Health British Transplant Games in North Lanarkshire.

“In some ways snooker is the ideal transplant sport because it offers athletes gentle exercise in a very social environment. The athletes and their families will tell you that the Games are an opportunity to get together and share their stories. Where better than around the snooker table?”

John will be representing Scotland with Anthony McGill in the China World cup from the 2 to 9 July.

He added: “The Games are also a fantastic opportunity to encourage people to join the Organ Donor Register. Almost 7,000 people in the UK are waiting for an organ donation, so please – join the register and help save a life.”

The snooker event is being sponsored by East Kilbride company DM Integrated (Fire and Security).

The event will attract more than 770 transplant athletes aged two to over 80 years, along with 2,000 supporters to North Lanarkshire in July 2017.

Organised on behalf of the charity Transplant Sport, the aim of the Games is to raise awareness of organ donation and increase sign ups to the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR).

In addition, they aim to demonstrate the benefits of transplantation, encouraging transplant patients to regain fitness, while increasing public awareness of the need for more people to sign on the NHS Organ Donor Register and discuss their wishes now with their families.

Jim McCabe, Chair of the 2017 Games, said: “The area has seen a boost to the numbers of people on the Organ Donor Register – with a record 124,559people currently registered in North Lanarkshire.
“Each year sees around 30 people in our area receiving an organ transplant.
“And in the past year 6,000 new people have joined the register, but more still needs to be done.
“There are currently 52 people in North Lanarkshire waiting for a transplant and we really hope that everybody will consider signing up to the register at www.organdonationscotland.org.”

Held over four days, the Westfield Health British Transplant Games include a range of sporting events and competitions, from fishing through to track and field.

Swimming will take place in Sir Matt Busby Sport Complex with athletics at Wishaw Sports Centre. All the other sports will be delivered throughout key sports hubs. There will be more than 20 sports available.

People can get involved by:
• Sponsoring – packages are still available and will make a significant difference to the success of the Games. Packages start at only £500 so if you know of any business that would be interested please contact gowl@northlan.gov.uk.
• Organising a slosh – We’re also still looking for work or family groups to take part in Slosh Across Scotland so if you want to hold a fun event with a difference check out the details on our Facebook page.
• Registering to the organ donor register – So far, 1,455 people have signed up to the register since we launched preparations for the Games last November. However, with 52 residents still waiting on a transplant we need many more. Join the register now at organdonationscotland.org
• Taking part in the 3k or 5k donor run at Strathclyde Country Park in the evening of Saturday, July 29. Run for Transplant Sport or a charity of your choice, sign up here.
• Volunteering – We’ve had a great response from North Lanarkshire residents to volunteer at the event but there’s still time to sign up. So if you would like to be involved in this marvellous event for a life changing charity then please contact dutyofficer@vanl.co.uk.