Hundreds of inspirational transplant recipients will soon be heading to North Lanarkshire for the 2017 Westfield Health British Transplant Games.
The event, which was officially launched at Cathedral Primary in Motherwell last week, is expected to attract more than 750 transplant athletes and more than 1,500 supporters for the August event.
Organised on behalf of the charity Transplant Sport and supported by not-for-profit health insurer Westfield Health, the aim of the Games is to raise awareness of organ donation and boost numbers on the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR).
Councillor Jim McCabe, co-chairman of BTG North Lanarkshire 2017 and leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said: “It is a magnificent honour for North Lanarkshire to host the British Transplant Games in 2017.
“It gives me immense pride to welcome the wider games family to North Lanarkshire, the support everyone has shown us today paints a strong picture of things to come.
“Following on from the success of the 2011 International Children’s Games and more recently, as host and training venue of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, supporting the British Transplant Games is a hugely worthwhile commitment and one that North Lanarkshire is proud to make.
“These games are not solely about sport, but they have a human side too. They demonstrate the courage and personal endeavour of those who take part and the appreciation of the unimaginable pain and courage of the donor families.
“We delivered the best ever Children’s Games and we will deliver the best Transplant Games.”
Ian Livingstone, co-chairman of BTG North Lanarkshire 2017, added: “The British Transplant Games is held over four days, delivering a whole range of sporting opportunities, with the key aim to encourage transplant patients to regain fitness and promote friendship whilst raising awareness to the wider public.
“We are proud to host the British Transplant Games. We have the facilities, we have the dedication and drive to deliver an exceptional event and we have the support.
“We understand that if it was not for people signing up to the NHS Organ Donor Register there would be no Transplant Games and that is one of our many challenges.
“NL2017 will deliver an array of awareness campaigns, at local level, to educate and raise awareness of what the NHS Organ Donor Register is. Through the help and support of professionals, we aim to dispel the many myths of organ donation.”
In total there will be around 17 sports with swimming to take place in the Sir Matt Busby Sport Centre, Bellshill, and athletics at Wishaw Sports Centre, other venues are still to be announced.