Record numbers of transplant athletes have signed up for an inspirational event in Sheffield this year.
More than 670 people who have been given a second chance thanks to organ donation will be at the Westfield Health British Transplant Games – an increase of 17 per cent.
The number of people registered as supporters is also up by 10 per cent to 1,104.
Held over four days in August, the games will include running, swimming, table tennis and football events across a range of venues.
The Star’s Gift of Life campaign aims to sign up 12,000 extra organ donors from Sheffield before the starting whistle blows – and has already surpassed the halfway mark.
Graham Moore, chairman of the games’ local organising committee and sponsor Westfield Health, said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the number of competitors and supporters that have registered for this year’s British Transplant Games in Sheffield.
“If we add on volunteers, staff and supporters who have not registered, we are expecting in excess of 2,200 people to descend on the city for the weekend of the games – a fantastic achievement in terms of raising awareness of the event and organ donation as a whole.”
Sheffield residents are also encouraged to take part in the Star Donor Run which is open to all.
The run will take place at Don Valley Stadium on Saturday, August 17, in one of the venue’s final public events before closure. Runners can complete a 5K or 3K course.
Graham said: “Both the record registration levels for the games and the Gift of Life campaign success so far is testimony to the overwhelming support we have had from local businesses, hospitals, transplant team managers and, of course, the general public throughout South Yorkshire – for which I’d like to express our sincere thanks.
“Our main aim with the British Transplant Games is to raise awareness of organ donation, encourage more people to sign up to the Donor Register and to share their wishes with their loved ones.
“We’re delighted that so many people have been inspired by the event and hopefully the support will continue so that we can bring the biggest and best British Transplant Games ever to Sheffield this summer.”
Many businesses and charities have already pledged their support for the games, including local drinks supplier nouriSH me now, Sheffield Hospitals Charity and the British Heart Foundation.
* To sign up to the Star Donor Run visit The Star Donor Run
* Businesses and individuals who want to support the Transplant Games should visit British Transplant Games or call event organisers MLS Contracts Ltd on 0114 2573170.