Games to boost people - and Sheffield

Build a Bear 'Lynne Holt Betty Rayner, Lisa Beaumont & Celia McKenzie,
Build a Bear 'Lynne Holt Betty Rayner, Lisa Beaumont & Celia McKenzie,
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Sheffield can expect a £1.5 million economic boost when the British Transplant Games come to the city this summer.

Hundreds of athletes and spectators will descend on the city from August 15 to 18.

Last weekend team leaders flew in from across the UK to tour the sporting venues to be used, including Ponds Forge, Don Valley, and the English Institute of Sport.

The Star is backing a Gift of Life campaign to sign up 12,000 more people from the region to the NHS Organ Donor Register before the games take place.

John Timms, event director, said: “The economic impact of the games is about £1.5 million so it is a significant boost to the city. Things like accommodation, restaurants and buying from local suppliers and shops will mean a lot of money is spent.

“It also brings a lot of press and media coverage to the city.”

During their visit games leaders looked at the opening ceremony site at Devonshire Green, where athletes will parade before taking part in events from swimming to fencing.

They also made new games mascots at the Build-a-Bear workshop in Meadowhall shopping centre.

John added: “The feedback we had from the team leaders was extremely positive.

“They flew in from all over the UK and are the people who recruit athletes, bringing hundreds to the games.

“We had a great tour of the venues and Stagecoach provided one of their buses to transport them around on the day.”

A number of athletes from the charity Transplant Sport UK are also set to take part in a national television campaign this week to raise awareness of organ donation. They will feature in ITV’s new campaign, From The Heart, to highlight the shortage of donated organs in the UK.

The aim is to encourage viewers to join the organ donor register and to talk to their loved ones about their wishes.