It is now less than 100 days to go until the Westfield Health British Transplant Games descend on Newport (25-28 July). And to celebrate, the Wales team are performing a lap of honour at Newport County AFC’s game against Lincoln City on Saturday.
Rodney Parade will raise the curtain on the Games as the venue for the Opening Ceremony.
Earlier this week, the Wales transplant football team also had the opportunity to train with Newport County AFC players. Shaun Ruck – who has had two kidney transplants and is currently on dialysis - explains:
“It was a brilliant experience to train with the team and we’re so grateful to Newport County. Their support has been amazing. We’re gearing up now to compete at the British Transplant Games in July and we’re really looking forward to sharing the message of organ donation and its importance.”
More than 2000 participants will descend on Newport to celebrate the Gift of Life. The Games involve 24 sports and provide opportunities for transplanted athletes to participate for fun and fitness. Some even go on to compete at the World Transplant Games.
The Games are the flagship event of the charity, Transplant Sport and it visits a different British city every year, aiming to raise awareness of organ donation. Wales was the first in the UK to adopt an “Opt Out” rule which England, Scotland and Northern Ireland are soon to embrace.
However, Organ Donation Wales is keen to spell out that everyone needs to have the “Donation Conversation” so that families and loved ones understand your wishes.
Fans of Newport County AFC and the Gwent Dragons will be given the opportunity to attend the Opening Ceremony of the Games as the Games organisers wish to see a capacity crowd welcome the transplant athletes from around the UK into the stadium, in an Olympic style parade:
“For many of these athletes, of which there are some 300 children, entering a stadium representing their Transplant Unit is one of the highlights of their sporting lives,” added David Nix, President of the UK Donor Network.
The event is supported by Westfield Health, Welsh Government, Newport City Council, Newport Live and the local health boards across Wales, NHS Blood and Transplant, Kidney Care UK, Anthony Nolan Register, Donor Family Network and Believe Organ Donor Support. Local supporters include Celtic Manor, Rodney Parade, Icon Creative.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED:
There is still time to join a team. Please contact The Welsh Transplant Team on 07866 810401 or Shaun.Thomas2@wales.nhs.uk. If you would like to represent a hospital outside of Wales, please contact your hospital coordinator.
You can find out more about The Westfield Health British Transplant Games here https://www.britishtransplantgames.co.uk/