The Westfield Health British Transplant Games 2024 come to Nottingham for the first time, hosting a multi-sport festival to celebrate those who have been given a second chance at life.
The games will host over 24 different sporting events, attracting around 3000 participants, from family and friends to donors of all ages and abilities.
Challengers ranging from as young as five up to their mid-70s will compete from August 1 to August 4.
The events include swimming, cycling, running, table tennis, and even ten-pin bowling.
“The most rewarding part is seeing a community join together and share their experiences through sport.”
The Westfield Health British Transplant Games aim to demonstrate the benefits of transplantation while encouraging patients to try and regain full fitness in an event that raises money and awareness for the issues surrounding transplantation.
Transplant Sports is the largest national charity for transplantation in England, actively promoting organ donation and making people more aware of the benefits.
Chairman of Transplant Sports, Dr. Paul Harden, said, ‘The facilities in Nottingham are fantastic, and the people in the city are all so friendly, which makes it the perfect place to host the 2024 Transplant Games. With the location being so central, it means people from all over the UK are able to access and enjoy the event. ‘
Dr. Harden has played a vital role in building a cutting-edge young adult transplant service and has been instrumental in bringing the games to the stage they are at now.
He added, ‘Transplants are much rarer than diseases such as cancer and diabetes, and people are likely to know somebody who has suffered from these diseases. People don’t appreciate what its like for the 60,000 people who need an organ transplant and, with the support of donors, are able to live long, healthy lives and start their own families.’
Charity Westfield Health is dedicated to making a difference in patients quality of life by delivering evidence-based health and wellbeing solutions that support people.
Former GB Olympian and member of the Nottingham adults and children’s team, Mark Brown, said,’ There is nothing more emotive than seeing a child finish a race in last place with the entire crowd cheering and supporting them till the very end, there are no losers, everybody here is a winner.’
A 16-year-old girl, Aliza Rafi, is competing for the seventh time. After partaking from an early age, this will be the first year she is on the adult team.
She said, ‘Before my first event, I was a very shy person. Being involved with the games has improved my confidence, and seeing all the children in a similar position to what I was makes me feel proud to represent Team Nottingham.
Last year’s event in Coventry helped raise 2.4 million pounds directly for their economy.
The British Transplant Games are being staged with the continued support of Westfield Health, Kidney Care UK, Anthony Nolan, NHSBT, and Extra Motorway Services.
Local partners who have committed to financially supporting the games include Nottingham Hospitals charity, the Nottingham Organ Donation Committee, Nottingham Trent University and Nottingham University, which Nottingham venues are coming to a Tier 1 partnership, as announced at the launch event.
In 2019, 21 million people had opted in to donate their organs after their deaths; in 2023, there was a huge increase to 23.2 million donors.
The demand has also greatly increased, with an additional 2321 people on the waiting list for a transplant in 2023 compared to 2019.
This makes it vital for more people to donate, as the transplantation process is complex and lengthy.
Today, 7308 people are waiting for a transplant, and since April 2023, a total of 3035 patients have received a successful transplant.