Today (16 June 2020) Leeds welcomed the Westfield Health British Transplant Games, as it is announced that the event, organised on behalf of the charity Transplant Sport, will take place in venues across the city from 5-8 August 2021.
Leeds is already warming up for the Games and has shown its support with a video led by Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Executive Member for Environment and Active Lifestyles and created by Leeds Cares, Leeds Teaching Hospital’s charity.
Featuring transplant athletes from Leeds’ children and adult teams and representatives from Kidney Care UK, Westfield Health and Leeds Cares, the video looks forward to when the Games arrive in 2021.
Transplant athletes aged from three to over 80 are due to travel from across the UK to West Yorkshire next summer to reunite after it was announced that the 2020 Games in Coventry were to be postponed to 2023 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Transplant Sport’s flagship event aims to raise awareness of the life-saving benefits of transplantation, a topic that is more important than ever, now that the laws around organ donation in England and Scotland are due to follow Wales and change to an ‘opt-out’ system on 20 May 2020.
The Games give the transplant community a chance to recognise the gift of life they have received from donors and donor families. The event also showcases the benefits of remaining active post-transplant and allows heart, lung, liver, kidney and other transplant recipients to compete in 21 different sporting events.
Councillor Rafique said: “We’re so excited to be hosting the Westfield Health British Transplant Games in Leeds next summer. I’m looking forward to seeing so many inspirational athletes and their supporters come from across the UK to visit our wonderful city for this spectacular four-day sporting event. From what we know about the Games, it’s an event full of passion, determination and most importantly fun and we can’t wait to be involved when we welcome everyone to Leeds.”
Dr Paul Harden, Chair of Trustees for Transplant Sport, said: “The cancellation of this summer’s Games has been incredibly disappointing for our transplant community. Although we have absolutely made the right decision to keep them all safe, many were very much looking forward to the Coventry Games and having the opportunity to see each other again. We’re so excited that the Games are going to be back next summer in Leeds and in Coventry in 2023, we think they’re going to be better than ever!”
The British Transplant Games 2021 are being backed by long-term supporters Westfield Health, Kidney Care UK and Anthony Nolan as well as organisations including Leeds Cares, Visit Leeds, University of Leeds, Leeds Children’s Hospital and St James’s University Hospital.
Graham Moore, Chair of Westfield Health, added: “We’ve been supporting the British Transplant Games for over ten years now and we’re so proud to be able to do so again in Leeds. Westfield Health is passionate about making a difference to communities and we’re delighted to be involved in championing the organ donation community and celebrating the gift of life. This is a tough time for us all but we’re glad to have something to look forward to, we can’t wait to be in Leeds in 2021!”
For more information on the Westfield Health British Transplant Games 2021, visit: https://www.britishtransplantgames.co.uk/leeds-2021