Scotland’s Transplant Games
The Westfield British Transplant Games are a project organised by Transplant Sport and have been held for over 30 years. The first transplant games were held in Portsmouth in 1978, during this time the transplant games were an international event involving countries such as the United States Of America. Over the years this has changed and they are now an national event within the UK. This year the games will be held in North Lanarkshire. They will run from on the 27th of July until the 30th of July. This will be the fourth time that a Scottish venue has hosted the transplant games. They were held in Edinburgh in 1985. and then in Glasgow in 1991. Edinburgh hosted the games again in 2007.
A while ago, we interviewed Caitlin Taylor, who at the age of 7 successfully underwent a kidney transplant. Caitlin goes to Chryston High School near Kirkintilloch. She is 14 years of age and will be participating at the Transplant Games for the first time, taking part in events such as running, long jump and tennis. Caitlin has been training since the start of this year. She trains on the first Saturday of each month. The British Transplant Games will be working in association with Westfield Health, North Lanarkshire Council, British Heart Foundation, Kidney Care, Martec, Donor family network, and Motherwell Shopping Centre, Caitlin has previously had success competing in various disciplines, and should do well in this years games.
The purpose of the transplant games is to show the benefits of transplantation and aims to encourage transplant patients to regain fitness, whilst also bringing awareness to the need for more people to join the NHS Organ Donation Register, and discuss their wishes with their families. Since the transplant games were formed participants have been affectionately known as “99 blooming miracles”. The games have also been held in 17 different host cities so far including Portsmouth, Belfast, Medway, Sheffield, Bolton, Newcastle, Gateshead, Coventry, Bath, Loughbourough (2005 and 2002), Leicester, Stoke, Norwich, Leeds, Birmingham, Wirral, Exeter, London and Manchester.
The games have three main aims:
- To say thank you to donor families.
- To celebrate donor families.
- To Celebrate the gift of life.
- to raise awareness of the needs of donors.
Anyone wishing to seek further information about becoming an organ donor can visit https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/faq/organ-donor-register/