Just six weeks to go, and the countdown has already begun to Sunderland hosting three of the World Transplant Games’ sporting events.
Sometimes known as the Transplant Olympics, the World Transplant Games are coming to the North East from 17 -24 August.
The games are all about celebrating a second chance of living life to the full, human courage and physical fitness, as well as raising awareness of organ donation and encouraging more people to sign up as organ donors.
Around 2,500 sporting hopefuls, aged from six to 84, from 60 countries are expected to take part in 16 sports, ranging from athletics, basketball and cycling, to football, swimming and volleyball.
All those taking part are either recipients of organ or tissue transplant, living donors or donor families.
While NewcastleGateshead is hosting the majority of the competitions, three of the 16 sports are being held in Sunderland:
- Swimming, which has the second largest number of competitors in the games, at Sunderland Aquatic Centre
- Road cycling at Hetton Lyons Country Park
- Ten Pin Bowling at AMF Bowling Washington
This builds on Sunderland’s growing reputation as an award winning events city and the success of events like the National Cyclocross at Hetton Lyons Country Park in 2018 and the Tennis Winter Cup.
And Councillor John Kelly Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture, is hoping that Sunderland people will turn out in their thousands to watch the world class sporting events taking place in their city and cheer on all those taking part.
He said: “It’s a real honour to be one of the cities hosting the games. Each and every one of the athletes taking part will have battled against the odds to take part in one of the world’s greatest sporting events.
“And I’m hoping the people of our city will turn out in their hundreds and thousands to give them a warm Sunderland welcome and enjoy the free world class swimming, cycling and ten pin bowling events taking place at Sunderland Aquatic Centre, Hetton Lyons Country Park and AMF Bowling Washington.
“I also hope they’ll be inspired by the athletes taking part to sign up to be organ donors and discuss their wishes with their loved ones because that’s what the games are all about.
“At any one time there are around 5,900 people on the transplant waiting list and on average three people die every day who could have benefited from organ donation so it’s really important that we sign up to organ donation and tell our families about it so that they know our wishes when we’re gone.”
To sign up the NHS Organ donor register visit: www.organdonation.nhs.uk/.”
For more information about the World Transplant Games visit: www.worldtransplantgames.org