Today (29th November 2022) Transplant Sport has officially launched the 2023 Westfield Health British Transplant Games in Coventry. The launch saw the Games organisers looking ahead to the multi-sport event, set to take place in July next year, and reunite over a thousand transplant athletes from across the country.
Transplant Sport has been delighted with the success of the 2022 British Transplant Games (Leeds) and the UK’s first European Transplant and Dialysis Games (Oxford), the Coventry Games are set to be bigger and better than ever: taking place in venues across Coventry next summer from Thursday 27th to Sunday the 30th of July 2023.
The Games are the flagship event of Transplant Sport and aim to raise awareness of the life-saving benefits of organ donation and encourage transplant recipients to stay active post-transplant. Transplanted athletes ranging from the ages of three to eighty plus, from over 50 hospital teams across the UK will represent their Transplant Unit with the support of family, friends, and volunteers to compete in the Games.
Seeking to reach and engage families and communities in Coventry and the wider Midlands region, as well as spark vital conversations around organ donation and prompt people to share their decision with loved ones, the Games will celebrate the gift of life and give the transplant community the opportunity to reconnect.
This morning a launch event took place at Square One, The Hub which saw Games stakeholders, sponsors, donor families, and transplant recipients, gather and ignite the Games flame commencing the countdown to the 45th annual Games.
In the UK, 6,700 people are on the waiting list for a transplant, which leaves some parts of the UK better equipped to deliver transplants faster than others. To help tackle this issue, a partnership has been developed between Coventry and Oxford transplant centres called COxNet.
This initiative allows Coventry kidney transplant patients to travel to Oxford for their surgery and vice versa, maximising the availability of organs and resources, and allow Coventry patients to benefit from Oxford’s short organ transplant waiting time.
COxNet has already resulted in 150 extra kidney transplant operations benefiting patients from both Coventry and Oxford.
Speaking about the partnership, Mr Deb Roy, Renal Transplant Surgeon at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) and COxNet Surgeon said: “Running for over 40 years, Transplant Games are celebrations of life and health for transplant patients. The games see teams from hospitals across the UK, come together to compete in sports. Coventry and Oxford have been developing closer links over the last 4 years and has established with an alliance between the two units, the Coventry and Oxford Transplant Network (COxNet), to establish joint research, education and clinical services. This was established to harness the strengths of each unit and has allowed us to use resources on both sides more effectively. The collaboration has facilitated more than 150 transplants across the two sites over this period for both patient groups. We are eagerly looking forward to hosting the transplant games in 2023, which will be a great event.”
Dr Paul Harden, Chair of Transplant Sport said: “It’s such great news that we can return to Coventry for next year's games after the postponement in 2020 due to the pandemic. We are all really looking forward to a wonderful event hosted in Coventry as we know the facilities will be first class. I have no doubt this year's games will be bigger and better than ever through our ongoing support network from the stakeholder board, talented athletes and volunteers making it their mission to leave a lasting legacy behind in Coventry.”
The British Transplant Games are being staged with the help of continued support of Westfield Health, Kidney Care UK and local partners including University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire (UHCW).
Dame Stella Manzie DBE., Chair at UHCW, said: “We are looking forward to supporting next year's British Transplant Games. Encouraging an active lifestyle after transplantation is vital and the Games is an amazing way to support athletes and donors in a new life after their transplant. We are all thrilled that the Games are coming to our region, and we are aware that our unique COxNet Transplant initiative with Oxford’s Transplant Unit, has enabled more Coventry residents to be transplanted; some of whom will be competing in the Games next year.”
David Capper, CEO, Westfield Health said: “We are so delighted to be sponsoring the Games once again for 2023. The Westfield Health British Transplant Games is an amazing vehicle for conversation around organ donation and a great way for transplanted athletes to stay active and have a goal to strive for each year. We would strongly encourage businesses to engage with this life-affirming event and feel the magic of the Transplant Games!”
Les Ratcliffe, Chairman at the 2023 British Transplant Games, said: “It has been such a privilege to be asked to Chair the 2023 Games. Having been to the Leeds Games in 2022, I witnessed first-hand how inspiring this event is and the importance it has in promoting organ donation in the region. It’s also a vital opportunity to thank the donor families and live donors, who make such personal sacrifices to improve the lives of individuals across the UK.”
Cllr Abdul Khan, Deputy Leader, Coventry City Council said: “On behalf of Coventry City Council, I’d like to thank all the stakeholders who have collaborated to bring another outstanding, meaningful event with huge social impact to the region. We have recently hosted some fantastic sporting events in the city, so we are really excited to be the host city for the 2023 Westfield Health British Transplant Games.
"This is an extremely special event that promotes more than sport and physical activity. We look forward to supporting the Games every step of the way and promoting transplantation and celebrating the athletes' inspirational stories.”
For more information on the Westfield Health British Transplant Games and how you can get involved, visit: https://www.britishtransplantgames.co.uk/
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About the Westfield Health British Transplant Games
The Westfield Health British Transplant Games aims to demonstrate the benefits of transplantation, encouraging transplant patients to regain fitness, whilst increasing public awareness of the need for donation conversations so that loved ones are fully aware of your wishes. Families are more likely to support organ donation when they know that is what their relatives wanted to do.
Right now, there are more than 6,600 people waiting for an organ transplant across the UK. On average three people die every day in need of an organ transplant because there just aren’t enough organ donors.
This year’s Westfield Health British Transplant Games will be held in Coventry from the 27th to the 31st of July 2022.
The Games, the flagship event of Transplant Sport, have been staged annually since 1978 in several host cities including Newport, Sheffield, Portsmouth, Newcastle, Cardiff, Birmingham, Exeter, Liverpool, Bolton, Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, London, Manchester, Norwich, Loughborough, Bath and Coventry.
The Westfield Health British Transplant Games are supported by not-for-profit health insurance provider Westfield Health and organised by MLS Contracts on behalf of Transplant Sport.
For more information on The Westfield Health British Transplant Games, please visit: www.britishtransplantgames.co.uk
About Transplant Sport
Transplant Sport is a charity established in 1978 to encourage organ donation, recognise the donors and donor family, support transplant recipients and their families, encourage everyone to participate in sport and help them lead a healthy and fulfilling life.