Thursday 9th December marked the launch of the first ever UK European Transplant and Dialysis Games which will next take place in Oxford in summer 2022.
Following almost two years of shielding, the transplant community and dialysis patients from across Europe will be brought together for a week of celebration and sporting events from 21-28 August.
After months of not being able to interact socially, and the 2020 Games in Dublin being cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, The European Transplant and Dialysis Games 2022 are set to be bigger and better than ever as they head to the UK for the first time ever.
The multi-sport event is being hosted in the UK by Transplant Sport and will take place at venues across Oxfordshire including Radley College, the iconic Oxford, University Sheldonian Theatre and Blenheim Palace.
An exclusive launch event took place today at Blenheim Palace giving special guests, transplant recipients and dialysis patients the chance to see the venue which will hold the cycling, mini-marathon and pétanque events.
The summer Games will see competitors participate in multi-sport events, including everything from tennis and football to athletics, squash, and swimming using the excellent facilities at Radley College, which will act as a Games Village for the week.
The event is projected to attract over 400 organ transplant recipients and kidney dialysis patients from over 25 countries across Europe and is aiming to act as a vehicle for spreading crucial messages around the life-saving benefits of organ donation and encouraging people to share their organ donation decision with loved ones.
Dr Paul Harden, Chair of Transplant Sport, was instrumental in bringing the Games to the UK. He said: “It’s been an incredibly tough couple of years for transplant recipients and dialysis patients in particular and many have experienced fear and isolation due to having to shield. We are so excited to be able to stage the European Transplant and Dialysis Games in 2022 and invite the transplant and dialysis community from all over Europe to come together in Oxford, reconnect socially and take part in sport to help keep them active, something which is so important post-transplant. We are so grateful to the generosity of Radley College who are providing a Games athletes village and excellent sports facilities. Blenheim Palace have been tremendous for hosting us today and keen to help raise awareness about organ donation. We just can’t wait to see some of the Games events take place in such a spectacular setting.”
Heather Carter, Operations Director at Blenheim Palace, said: "We are so excited to be hosting part of the European Transplant and Dialysis Games next year. Organ donation is such an important topic and we're proud to be doing our bit to raise awareness and encourage the people of Oxfordshire and beyond to talk about the subject with their loved ones. It's been a privilege to host the launch event at the Palace this morning and we're delighted to be able to extend the invitation to transplant recipients and dialysis patients from across Europe next summer."
Andrew Ashton, Bursar at Radley College, said: “"We were delighted to be asked to support the Games by hosting the athletes and providing the venue for many of the events. The work Transplant Sport has done to highlight the active and fulfilling lives that recipients can lead post-transplant is truly inspirational.
“These games will be an inspiration to many and will hopefully show that we can all play our part in helping to transform lives. As a school we have a role to play in helping educate people, both in our own community of students and staff and in the many communities we reach out to, in the value of the life sciences and the importance of organ donation."
For more information on The European Transplant and Dialysis Games 2022 and how to get involved please visit: https://transplantsport.org.uk/european-transplant-and-dialysis-sports-games-2022/