MORE than 900 transplant athletes aged three to 80 from across the UK will travel to Coventry next summer for the British Transplant Games.
A launch event was held at University of Warwick’s Sport and Wellness Hub on Friday November 29.
It is set to take place in venues in-and-around the city from July 30 – August 2 2020 and is estimated to inject around £2 million into the city as more than 1,500 spectators are forecast to travel to the city to cheer competitors on.
The last time the event was held in Coventry was 2009.
The event aims to raise awareness of the value of organ donation and encourage transplant recipients to get active after an operation.
The Games showcase the benefits of life-saving organ transplants and allow heart, lung, liver, kidney and other transplant recipients to compete in 21 different sporting events.
Dr James Neuberger, Trustee of the Management Board at Transplant Sport and consultant physician at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, said: “The British Transplant Games are a highlight in Transplant Sport’s calendar and we can’t wait for Coventry to host them this year.
“The Games are living proof that transplant recipients of all ages can lead a healthy, active lifestyle post-transplant and we want to encourage as many people to get involved as possible, whether it’s taking part or cheering our competitors on.
“Now the laws are changing, it’s more important than ever that people are talking about organ donation and we hope that the people of Coventry can help encourage that conversation.”
Yuri Matischen, organiser of the Westfield Health British Transplant Games, said: “The launch went very well and it was a fantastic turnout, it was great to see that so many people are already excited about the 2020 Westfield Health British Transplant Games. We are very much looking forward to hosting this year’s games in Coventry.”
More than 6,000 people are currently waiting for an organ transplant across the UK. On average three people die every day in need of an organ transplant because there are not enough organ donors.
The Lord Mayor of Coventry, Coun Linda Bigham, said: “It’s wonderful that Transplant Sport and Westfield Health are bringing the British Transplant Games back to Coventry.
“As the City of Culture for 2021, the Games are a perfect addition to our sporting calendar over the next two years and we are looking forward to seeing the positive results that it will bring.
“This event does a vast amount of good in terms of raising awareness on a hugely-important issue and I personally look forward to meeting the competitors set to take part at the Games next summer – Coventry will provide a warm welcome for you all.”
The Games, have been staged annually since 1978. Previous host cities include Newport, Sheffield, Portsmouth, Newcastle, Cardiff, Birmingham, Exeter, Liverpool, Bolton, Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, London, Manchester, Norwich, Loughborough, Bath and Coventry.
Wondering how you can play a part in the Westfield Health British Transplant Games 2020? Contact event manager Andrew Bridge on 0114 257 3170 or email firstname.lastname@example.org