Tyneside will host next year’s British Transplant Games for those who have had life-saving organ transplant surgery and donor families.
Newcastle and Gateshead will stage the 2015 Westfield Health British Transplant Games, where hundreds of competitors will descend on the region for the fun four day event.
Competitors will take part in a range of sporting activities including swimming, golf, archery, table tennis, five-a-side football and track and field at Gateshead International Stadium and various venues across the region. A Donor Run, open to the public, will also take place along the NewcastleGateshead Quayside.
Sarah Stewart, chief executive at destination management and marketing organisation NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “It is fantastic news that the British Transplant Games will take place in NewcastleGateshead.
“The destination is renowned not just for hosting first-class sporting and cultural events, but our universities and hospitals are true pioneers in transplant surgery – so it’s extremely fitting that the games will take place at Gateshead International Stadium and other venues across the North East.
“I wish everyone taking part in such an inspirational event, the very best of luck.”
Sarah Stewart, chief executive at NewcastleGateshead Initiative
Founded in 1978, the Transplant Games encourage patients to regain fitness, demonstrate the benefits of transplantation and promote awareness of the need for more organ donation. The world-renowned Institute of Transplantation at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital performs hundreds of transplants a year.
It is the second time that the Games will be held in the region as they were in the North East 14 years ago.
North East businessman Graham Wylie is chairing the organising committee for the 2015 Games and said “the games were last in the region in 2000 and the logistics and planning for 2015 are now well underway, we will be working together with the region and local and national businesses to make this bigger and better than ever, an event the North East can be proud of.”
Schoolgirl Rachel Hooley, 10, from Cramlington, Northumberland, has just returned from Bolton were she has taken part in this year’s British Transplant Games representing Newcastle Freeman Kids.
Rachel, who underwent a life saving heart transplant in February 2012, scooped bronze medals in the swimming relay, cup stacking and tug of war.
She said: “The British Transplant games are coming to Gateshead and Newcastle in 2015 and I can’t wait.”
The 2015 NewcastleGateshead Transplant Games are organised by MLS Contracts in partnership with the charity Transplant Sport and will be held from July 30 to August 2.