British Transplant Games in Leeds: How to watch the opening ceremony, the parade route and what road closures are in place

Hundreds of athletes will parade through Leeds city centre to mark the opening of the Westfield Health British Transplant Games.

Set to take place across the city between Thursday 28 July and Sunday 31 July, the Games will see around 900 transplant recipients competing in sporting events such as cycling, golf, tennis, football, and track and field.

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Athletes from as young as three years old right through to 80 years old will compete, with both beginners and experts able to take part.

The Westfield Health British Transplant Games are taking place in Leeds between July 28 and July 31.

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    Leeds City Council leader James Lewis said: “The Games promise to be truly inspirational and I am incredibly pleased and proud that they are happening in Leeds this year.

    “It’s great to have an opportunity to showcase our city – and its famous love of sporting endeavour – to people from all over the country.

    “Our thanks go to everyone who has been involved in bringing the Games to Leeds – I’m sure they will be a big success.

    “I’d also like to wish good luck to all those taking part, each and every one of you is already a winner and you fully deserve your time in the spotlight.”

    The parade will take place from 6.30pm on Thursday July 28, starting at Victoria Gardens in The Headrow and continuing along Cookridge Street to Millennium Square, where an opening ceremony will be held.

    The ceremony at 7pm will see the Games flame being lit, along with a welcome speech from the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Coun Robert Gettings.

    There will also be musical entertainment provided by Leeds Rock Choir and Voice contestant Janine Dyer.

    Traffic restrictions will be in place on multiple roads around Millennium Square during the opening ceremony, including Portland Way, Rossington Street and Great George Street.

    Although the Games have been an annual event since 1978, this year marks the first time since 2019 that they have gone ahead after Covid restrictions caused previous events to be postponed.

    Each year, a different city is given the chance to host the Games in order to raise awareness of the vital importance of transplantation, along with encouraging people to talk openly about organ donation.

    Roger Burnley, who chairs the British Transplant Games stakeholder board, said: "The Games are finally just around the corner and to see all the hard work that goes into making them come to life is so exciting for all of us.

    “The Games are a chance for the transplant community to reunite and celebrate together, but it’s also a way to raise awareness of the life-saving benefits of organ donation and encourage those crucial conversations between families.

    “We can’t wait to welcome everyone to Leeds, it's already one of the biggest Games to date and I think it's shaping up to also be one of the best!"

    Events throughout the Games are open for the public to attend. Venues include at the John Charles Centre for Sport, The University of Leeds’s Edge complex, Bodington cycle circuit, Middleton Leisure Centre, Leeds Golf Centre, Tenpin Leeds and the Northern Snooker Centre.

    Visit the British Transplant Games website for more details.