Athletes out to inspire as Games make return to Sheffield

Athletes gathered in the Peace Gardens.  British Transplant Games in Sheffield 2008.
Athletes gathered in the Peace Gardens. British Transplant Games in Sheffield 2008.
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HUNDREDS of the country’s bravest athletes will descend on Sheffield next year when the annual British Transplant Games come to the city for the second time in five years.

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 from August 15 to 18, 2013.

The games, organised by charity Transplant Sport UK, seeks to showcase the benefits of transplantation - while giving people aged between two and 80 who have undergone transplants the chance to compete in a wide range of sporting activities.

Last time the event was held in the city it attracted about 2,000 competitors and visitors providing a £500,000 boost to the local economy.

Council leader Julie Dore said: “We are extremely excited about the British Transplant Games returning to Sheffield next year.

“It’s a fantastic event for the profile of the city, raising awareness of a vital public health issue - transplantation, and the critical need for more organ donors to register.

“Several city businesses have already got on board with the 2013 Games, including Sheffield International Venues and the University of Sheffield - both of which have kindly offered use of their outstanding facilities throughout the Games’ weekend.”

The games last visited the city in 2008 and have since been hailed by participants and organisers as one of the most successful to date, helping to boost NHS Organ Donor Register figures in South Yorkshire by an impressive 25,000 names.

TSUK trustee Lynne Holt said: “The city has superb sporting facilities, so we are delighted to be bringing the Transplant Games back to Sheffield in 2013.

“The event is always an extremely moving one as each transplant athlete knows first hand what it is like to be waiting for an organ.

“It’s a life or death situation for many, so to see the people who have been lucky enough to get a transplant be back living life to the full is fantastic.”

She added: “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 South Yorkshire will once again embrace our cause and support the games in any way they can.”