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One week to go for Freeman Hospital Transplant Athletes

36 adults and 12 children, who have had life saving heart and/or lung transplants at the world renowned Freeman Hospital in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, are preparing to compete in the British Transplant Games in Bolton from the 7th – 10th August.

This is the largest team of heart/lung transplant recipients to compete in the games since they began in 1978.

The British Transplant Games encourages those who have received a transplant to lead active and healthy lives while showcasing the benefits of transplantation. The aim is to raise awareness of the need for more people to sign on to the NHS Organ Donor Register. In the UK, 10,000 people are waiting for a life saving transplant, and 3 die each day waiting.

Over 700 transplant athletes from 55 transplant units across the UK will take part. Aged from 2 to 82 they will compete in 20 different sports including archery, athletics, golf, squash, snooker, tennis, cycling and swimming. Competition will be fierce, but the athletes have already won the race for life – winning a medal will simply be a bonus! There are guest competitors from Australia, Canada, Ireland and Italy.

Selection for Team GB&NI takes place after these games, and the successful athletes will compete at the World Transplant Games in Argentina next year.

Lynne Holt, Clinical Transplant Coordinator at the Newcastle Freeman Hospital  and Trustee of Transplant Sport (TS) says: ‘These are truly the friendly Games, demonstrating the success of transplantation at the Freeman Hospital, the joy of being alive and the opportunity to give thanks to the Donor families. We encourage everyone to discuss their wishes about organ donation with their families, without which, none of the athletes would be alive to compete.’

1,200 supporters are expected to cheer on the athletes over 4 days at the Westfield Health British Transplant Games. The event is managed by M LS Contracts, in partnership with the charity Transplant Sport UK.

To find out more about the Westfield Health British Transplant Games please visit www.transplantsport.org.uk .

To Join the NHS Organ Donor Register and help save lives TEXT: SAVE to 62323, call 0300 123 2323 or visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk

Ends

More information

There are opportunities to interview, film and photograph competitors in training before the games in your area. For further information contact Lynne Holt, Transplant Co-ordinator on 07900 014344.

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