Sheffield-based leading health and wellbeing provider, Westfield Health, has launched the annual British Transplant Games at an event in the host city of Newport, where the Donor Family Flame was lit.
The Westfield Health British Transplant Games will take place from 25-28 July 2019, with more than 850 transplant recipient athletes competing, and more than 1,500 supporters including donor families expected.
The Games, which are held every year to raise awareness of and increase organ donation, include over 25 sporting and social events and competitions for all abilities, from fishing through to track and field, including the Donor Run, an inclusive event open to the public.
Westfield Health has been the title sponsor for over 10 years, its Chairman Graham Moore is passionate about the cause and encouraging people to sign up to the organ donor register.
David Capper, CEO at Westfield Health attended the launch in Newport. He said: “We are extremely proud to have been involved in the Games for many years and look forward to seeing the event come to Wales. It is a travesty that three people die every day waiting for a transplant. You don’t have to look far to find someone touched by organ donation.
“Westfield Health is dedicated to making a healthy difference to the quality of life of our customers and the communities in which they live and work – there is no greater way of improving lives than to give the gift of life itself.”
Along with Westfield Health, Newport Council, Newport Live, the Welsh Government and the Games organisers are working in partnership to make this the best event yet.
Ann Lloyd CBE, Chair of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and Chair of the Games’ Local Organising Committee, said: Wales has led the way in the UK in its approach to organ donation and the introduction of deemed consent. However, there is much more to do to raise awareness of its importance and encourage people to have those, sometimes difficult, conversations with loved ones.
“The Games not only recognise the amazing gift that a transplant can give – how recipients of all ages can lead a healthy, active and normal life – but also honour the donors.”
Today the British Transplant Games see over 50 teams from hospitals across the UK (and still have overseas visitors) come together to share their personal experiences, compete and thank their donor families, who increasingly form part of the Games.
The British Games are also a channel for selection to the biennial World Transplant Games, in which Team GB are amongst the largest and most successful.