35 Transplant athletes from across the UK competed in the second National Transplant Sport Football Tournament held on Sunday 31st March at Whiteland’s Leisure center Bicester. All of the players that took part have had a lifesaving organ transplant, with recipients including kidney, pancreas, heart, liver, lung and bone marrow transplants, all of whom demonstrate the benefits of sport after transplantation.
There were 4 teams from around the UK competing in this 6-a-side tournament which was officiated by Oxfordshire FA. Congratulations to the winners of the tournament, Team Nottingham who retain the trophy from last year. They beat a team of mixed transplant recipients from various transplant centers across the UK 1-0 in the final, with Oxford winning bronze in the third place play off beating Team Wales. All the individuals who took part were winners and it’s a real demonstration of the life changing outcome of an organ transplant.
Daley Cross, Transplant Sport Football Representative and organiser of the tournament said: “The event was fantastic, it achieved everything we wanted it to. To see 35 transplant recipients come together from all around the UK and play football competitively was really special, it demonstrates the passion for football amongst the transplant community. We are hugely grateful to Whiteland’s Leisure center for allowing us to use their fantastic facility and very grateful to Oxfordshire FA for their support. The event gave us the fantastic opportunity to promote greater awareness and understanding of the important need for more people to sign on the NHS Organ Donor Register, and hopefully save more lives. Many of the athletes have experienced near death situations and a long illness, and it is wonderful to see them able to enjoy a full life, thanks to organ donation. We also aim to promote Organ Donation within the local area so hopefully the Organ Donation Register.”
Paul Harden, Chairman of Transplant Sport and Transplant Consultant at The Churchill Hospital, Oxford says: “Transplant Sport aims to raise awareness of the need for organ donation in the UK by organising sporting and social events for those who have received a transplant. It was great to see 35 organ transplant recipients from around the UK participate in the second national transplant football competition. This was a clear demonstration that any transplant recipient can safely play football. We hope to encourage many more transplant recipients to participate in football at both the British Transplant Games in Newport this July and next year’s National Football Competition in Birmingham.”
Check out more pictures from the Tournament on the TS Facebook Group page.