Today we can announce that the South Wales Argus are our official media partners of The 2019 Westfield British Transplant Games which are being staged in Newport in July. Taking place in different host cities every summer, the British Transplant Games see teams from hospitals across the UK come together to compete in a huge range of sports. The four-day event attracts around more than 1500 supporters.
It will be the first time that any Welsh city outside of Cardiff has hosted the British Transplant Games since it was established in 1978.
The Argus will help bring its readers the stories of the competitors, the competition and how you can get involved when The Westfield British Transplant Games take place from July 25-28. Action will take place at venues across the city including the Newport International Sports Village - home to the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome of Wales – as well as The Celtic Manor Resort and Rodney Parade.
Transplant survivors, including children as young as three, can take part in more than 25 sports and events and many athletes go on to compete at the World Transplant Games. Sporting events including athletics, basketball, cycling, football, golf, snooker, swimming, tennis, volleyball and The Donor Run, an inclusive event open to the public.
Organised on behalf of the charity Transplant Sport UK, the aim of the Games is to raise awareness of organ donation and encourage families to have the donation conversation. Title sponsor Westfield Health, a leading not-for-profit health insurer, has been involved in the Games for more than a decade:
Westfield Health Chairman Graham Moore said, “Although Wales was the first to introduce the opt-out system for organ donation, there is still a considerable need to positively promote the benefits of organ donation, how essential it is to discuss your wishes with loved ones, plus raise the general awareness of the need for transplant recipients to lead active and healthy lives to increase transplant life expectancy.”
Health Minister Vaughan Gething, said: “The British Transplant Games is an incredible event that showcases the things people can achieve if they put their minds to it. It’s amazing to see the journeys that our competitors have been on and I wish them all the best of luck in competing and showcasing the incredible value of organ donation.
“While we’ve come so far, there are still people dying on the waiting list so there is clearly more to do to urge families to chat about their organ donation decision.”
The British Transplant Games will also shine a light on the hard-work, dedication and talent of the doctors and nurses who work in hospitals across the region who bring hope to families and individuals from all over the UK undergoing transplant surgery. It is also a way in which recipients can remember and appreciate donors and their families.
Argus editor Nicole Garnon said: "This is a great event and one which deserves a much higher profile. Not only is it incredibly moving to see the transformation transplants can bring to the lives of people of all ages, this is a great opportunity once again to showcase the sporting facilities and the welcome Newort can offer."
The event is supported by Welsh Government, Newport Council, Newport Live and the local health boards across Wales, NHS Blood and Transplant, Kidney Care UK, Anthony Nolan Register, and Donor Family Network.