Organisers of the 2019 Westfield Health British Transplant Games, Newport are inviting community groups to be a part of its Opening Ceremony on 25 July.
The flagship event of Transplant Sport is a four-day festival attracting around 2500 transplant recipients, live donors, donor families and supporters to venues across the city to take part in 23 sports including track and field, swimming, cycling, badminton, walking and table tennis.
The curtain will be raised at the Opening Ceremony which will see teams from hospitals right across the UK come together to march into Rodney Parade – including a team from Wales. There will also be performances from local community groups.
Chair of Transplant Sport, Dr Paul Harden explains:
“The event is a real celebration of the gift of life. It really is a fantastic display of the benefits of organ donation. We are so excited to invite almost one thousand transplant recipients – as well as live donors and donor families - to Newport.
“We are looking for community groups who can provide a warm, Welsh welcome and be part of the audience. We would love the South Wales community to be a part of what will be an incredibly inspirational evening.”
Paul Bristow, Acting Chief Executive of Kidney Care UK – a key partner in the Games - explains:
“We can’t wait to be a part of an incredible Opening Ceremony and an incredible Games. It’s always hugely inspiring to see the athletes from hospitals all over the UK parade in – many of whom wouldn’t be with us today, had it not been for the generosity of donors and donor families.”
The Opening Ceremony has also been made possible thanks to Rodney Parade, who have been huge supporters of the Games. Rodney Parade will also host the darts competition and a social event.
The aim of the Games is to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation. Wales was the first to introduce a soft opt-out system of the organ donor register. However, the decision on organ donation is made by loved ones. That’s why organisers are keen to spread the word that you need to make your wishes – whatever they may be - known to your loved ones.
As of 31st December 2018, there were 232 patients in Wales waiting for a transplant. In the first three quarters of 2018/19, 19 patients died while on the active waiting list.
The event is supported by Westfield Health, Welsh Government, Newport City Council, Newport Live, the local health boards across Wales, NHS Blood and Transplant, Kidney Care UK, Anthony Nolan Register, Donor Family Network and Believe Organ Donor Support. Further sponsors include Friars Walk, Icon Design, Rodney Parade and Celtic Manor.
Sophie Wilson – an 11-year-old from Rogerstone - was born with Biliary Atresia; a rare disease of the liver and bile ducts. Despite medical procedures, her family were given the news that she had end stage liver disease when she was just 10 months-old.
Newport will be Sophie’s second games. She will be representing Birmingham Children’s Hospital team, where she received her transplant, in swimming and running competitions.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED:
If you belong to a community group and are interested in being part of the Opening Ceremony audience, please contact BTG@mlsgb.co
You can find out more about The Westfield Health British Transplant Games here https://www.britishtransplantgames.co.uk/