Over a thousand transplant athletes will descend on Birmingham next summer when the annual Westfield Health British Transplant Games 2018 come to the city.
The event, which aims to raise awareness of the value of organ donation and help increase numbers on the NHS Organ Donor Register, will take place in Birmingham from the 2-5 August 2018.
Organised on behalf of the charity Transplant Sport, the Games showcase the benefits of transplantation, whilst giving people aged between two and 80-years-old who have had a transplant the chance to compete in a wide range of sport activities.
The last time the event was held in the city in 1999 it brought a huge boost to the local economy, this year it is estimated the Games will inject around £2.5m into Birmingham and generate a significant national profile.
The Lord Mayor of Birmingham Councillor Anne Underwood said: “I am delighted the Westfield Health British Transplant Games are coming back to the sporting city of Birmingham.
“This event does a huge amount of good in terms of raising awareness on a hugely-important issue. It also further underlines our sporting credentials as the home of many successful major events in the past and showcases what we can do as we continue our bid to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
“I wish everyone who takes part an enjoyable stay in Birmingham, and I know everyone who comes here to compete will be warmly welcomed by our citizens.”
The Games in 2018 will also shine a light on the hard-work, dedication and talent of the doctors and nurses who work in hospitals across the region who bring hope to families and individuals from all over the UK undergoing transplant surgery, Birmingham performs more Transplants than anywhere else in Europe and recently celebrated its 5,000th Liver Transplant.
Professor James Neuberger, Chair of the Games Local Organising Committee, said: “We are delighted that the UK Transplant Games are coming to Birmingham, the City, University and the NHS are committed to making Birmingham 2018 a success. The Games will not only show how transplant recipients of all ages can lead a healthy, active and normal life but will also honour the donors without whom most of the athletes would not be alive today.
“We hope the skill and enthusiasm of the participants will encourage everyone of all backgrounds and ages to support organ donation and join the organ donor register if they have not already done so.”
Around 6,500 people in the UK are currently waiting for a transplant and sadly, three people die waiting every day. But with only 37 per cent of the UK population actually registered as organ donors, there simply aren’t enough organs to go round.
James continued: “We need events like the Transplant Games to showcase the value of transplantation and to encourage people to discuss their wishes with their families. We hope the people of Birmingham will once again embrace our cause and support the Games in any way they can.”
Graham Moore, Westfield Health Chairman, added: “As a health and wellbeing company – Westfield Health’s goal is to help people live healthier, happier lives for longer – no matter what. The Westfield Health Charitable Trust is therefore incredibly proud to be headline sponsor of this truly inspiring event. I am very much looking to coming to Birmingham next summer and witnessing first the benefits of organ donation and the gift of life.”
For more information about how you can play a part in the Westfield Health British Transplant Games Birmingham 2018, contact event manager Andrew Bridge on 0114 257 3170 or email [email protected]