The British Transplant Games are the flagship event of Transplant Sport and have been in existence for 40 years when the first “Transplant Olympics” took place in Portsmouth in 1978.
At that time, these Games were an international event and included teams from France, Greece and even the USA.
Since these early beginnings with competitors, affectionately known as “99 blooming miracles”, the Games have grown and are held every year in different cities throughout the UK. The British Transplant Games have been staged annually since 1978 in 17 host cities across the UK including Portsmouth (1994), Edinburgh (2007), Belfast (1998) Medway (2012), Sheffield (2013), Bolton (2014), NewcastleGateshead (2015) & Liverpool (2016).
Over the past 40 years the Games have grown to a four day annual event with over 800 transplant recipients aged from 2 – 80+ taking part in over 20 different sports, and over 1000 supporters watching on.
The Games aim to demonstrate the benefits of transplantation, encouraging transplant patients to regain fitness, whilst increasing public awareness of the need for more people to join the NHS Organ Donation Register and discuss their wishes with their families. They also seek to thank and celebrate donor families and the gift of life.
Some TS members come to win medals, training for their specialist events, hoping to be selected for Team GB & NI competing at the World Transplant Games. Most come to meet new friends, catch up with old friends, enjoy new sports at their own pace and relaxing for a few days with others who’ve also faced debilitating illness but are now fit and well as a result of a successful transplant.
The 2022 Westfield Health British Transplant Games will be held in Leeds 28th – 31st of July.