Today games organisers have announced that the Westfield Health British Transplant Games will be taking place in venues across Leeds from 28th – 31st July in 2022.
The flagship event of Transplant Sport will be staged with renewed support from Westfield Health as well as local partners including Leeds City Council, Leeds Hospitals Charity, Visit Leeds and the University of Leeds.
Though the British Transplant Games (BTG) has been postponed for the second year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Leeds hosts are determined to deliver the best event yet in 2022 and are already starting the build-up with this summer’s inaugural BTG Cycling Sportive, which is due to take place on 8 August.
The Westfield Health British Transplant Games 2022 will see over 24 sporting events take place across the four-day event. Thousands of athletes and their families and friends are expected to travel to Leeds next summer from across the UK, ready to finally celebrate the gift of life in-person again, with the rest of the transplant community.
In May 2020, Max and Keira’s Law was put into place to create an ‘opt-out’ system for organ donation. A year on from the law change it’s more important than ever to share wishes with loved ones and the Games seek to not only raise awareness of the life-saving benefits of organ donation and the importance of staying active post-transplant, but also to encourage these conversations to happen.
Chief Executive at Asda, Roger Burnley, will also be continuing his role as Chair of the Stakeholder Board for the 2022 Games. He said: “We are really pleased to be able to finally share the dates for the Westfield Health British Transplant Games 2022. The city of Leeds is ready and raring to go, and we can’t wait to welcome the transplant community for one of its biggest events. We’re confident that the 2022 Games will be the biggest celebration yet and the perfect way to bring everyone back together after an extremely difficult couple of years.”
Dr Paul Harden, Chair of Trustees for Transplant Sport, said: “The British Transplant Games is such an important event for our transplant community and not being able to see each other for the last couple of years has been incredibly hard for recipients, donor families and supporters. Now that it is safe to do so, we’re so excited to be able to announce the new dates for 2022. We’re extremely grateful for the support from Games organisers, supporters and local partners in Leeds for making it all possible and we hope to see as many people there as possible next summer!”
David Capper, Chief Executive Officer at Westfield Health, said: “Transplant athletes know better than anyone the value of health and the power of perseverance – two lessons that the pandemic has only underlined. Having sponsored the games for over a decade, we’re delighted to have them on our doorstep in Leeds next year and to celebrate the continued health, perseverance and achievements of everyone involved.”
Councillor Salma Arif, Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Public Health and Active Lifestyles, said: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming the transplant community to Leeds for one of its biggest events. It’s been a huge shame to see vital awareness raising events like this postponed due to Covid-19 so it is wonderful to get dates back in the diary. We’re confident the 2022 games will be worth the wait.”
Esther Wakeman, Chief Executive Officer at Leeds Hospitals Charity, said: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming the transplant community to Leeds for one of its biggest events. It’s been a huge shame to see vital awareness raising events like this postponed due to Covid-19 so it is wonderful to get dates back in the diary. We’re confident the 2022 games will be worth the wait.” It's fantastic to have these dates in the diary to look forward to and we can't wait to celebrate and raise awareness on such an amazing cause with the entire transplant community, their families and friends.”
To sign up to the first ever BTG Cycling Sportive, visit: true-cycling.com/events/skeltonlakes