The British Transplant Games are coming to Leeds - and will be 'the best yet'

The countdown to the 2022 Westfield Health British Transplant Games in Leeds has officially begun as the city prepares to reunite the transplant community after almost two years of shielding.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 4:49 pm

With the 2021 event having been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the British Transplant Games 2022 are coming to Leeds and are set to be “better than ever”, according to organisers.

Venues across the city will play host to more than 900 transplant athletes, aged from three to over 80, who will travel from across the UK with family, friends and supporters to compete in the four-day event, from July 28 to 31.

The Games are the flagship event of Transplant Sport and aim to raise awareness of the life-saving benefits of organ donation and encourage transplant recipients to stay active post-transplant.

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Organisers, partners and transplant recipients gathered to officially start the countdown to the British Transplant Games 2022 at Leeds Civic Hall. Picture: James Hardisty.

A launch event was held earlier today (Wednesday) at Leeds Civic Hall to celebrate the occasion which saw Games’ organisers and local partners gather alongside some of the transplant recipients who will be taking part.

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James Lewis, the Leader of Leeds Council, said: “We’re so excited to finally be able to welcome the transplant community to Leeds for the Westfield Health British Transplant Games.

“It’s been a long time coming, we’re ready and raring to go and are so proud to be doing our bit to raise awareness of organ donation and encourage the people of Leeds and the rest of Yorkshire to have that crucial conversation about their wishes with loved ones.”

The Westfield Health British Transplant Games are being staged with the help of Westfield Health and Kidney Care UK and local partners including Leeds Hospitals Charity, Leeds City Council, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of Leeds.

It is estimated the event will inject around £2 million across Yorkshire, as over 1,500 spectators are also expected to travel to the city to cheer competitors on.

Roger Burnley, former chief executive at Asda, will be continuing his role as chairman of the Stakeholder Board for the 2022 Games.

Dr Paul Harden, chairman of trustees for Transplant Sport, said: “It’s exciting to know that we are getting everyone back together - safely, after a long two years.

“Transplant recipients have faced significant challenges throughout the pandemic, so they need the chance to reconnect.

“ At Transplant Sport, we are so grateful for the support from our sponsors, the city of Leeds, and in particular Roger Burnley for his ongoing commitment to the stakeholder board and to staging the Games.

“Plans are underway to make this the best Games yet!”

Esther Wakeman, CEO of Leeds Hospitals Charity, said: “We’re proud to support the hundreds of adults, children and families who are part of the Leeds Transplant Team.

“The British Transplant Games is a wonderful opportunity to bring together transplant patients and their loved ones from across the nations who share a special and unique bond.

“We’re so proud that Leeds will be hosting the Games next Summer, especially after they were unable to go ahead during the pandemic, we hope to make next year bigger and better than ever!”

For more information on the Westfield Health British Transplant Games and how you can get involved, visit: www.britishtransplantgames.co.uk