Athletes warm-up for WTG2019 at Life Science Centre exhibition

5th August 2019

Athletes gearing up for the World Transplant Games have been training in an unusual way this week.

With under two weeks until the World Transplant Games 2019 start in the North East, GB & NI team athletes have been warming up at Life Science Centre’s Game On 2.0 exhibition. Among the athletes were tennis player Joseph Hunsley who received a liver transplant when he was seven, 9 year old swimmer and liver transplant recipient Phoebe Pace and Ed Shutt a kidney transplant who will take part in archery. They were joined by Team GB & NI Manager Lynne Holt and Team 19 volunteer Kaylee Ann Davidson-Olley, Britain’s longest surviving heart transplant patient who received a new heart at the Freeman Hospital at just five months old, and donor family member Angela Fairburn and her 9 year old daughter Erin.

 Game On 2.0, at Life Science Centre until 4 September 2019, explores the past five decades of computer gaming through more than 150 playable games. The exhibition marks a special year in gaming with many notable anniversaries, including 10 years since the launch of the Wii Sports Resort – the game that the transplant athletes played during their visit.

Lynne Holt, Team GB & NI Manager, said: “Watching the transplant athletes at Life Science Centre’s Game On 2.0 exhibition shows the great benefits of organ donation.

“Without the second chance of life that organ donation provides, many of these athletes would not be able to live the healthy and active lifestyles that they do. All the athletes that are competing this summer are a true inspiration and we are looking forward to hosting such a great celebration of human courage and physical fitness in the region.”

Linda Conlon, Chief Executive at Life, said: “It’s a great accolade for NewcastleGateshead to host the World Transplant Games and I’m delighted to welcome some of the athletes to Life as excitement builds. Let’s see how the competitors fare in virtual versions of their sports!

“Active video games, like Wii Sports Resort, are no substitute for the health and fitness benefits of playing the real thing, but they are fun and can bring some solace and entertainment to anyone who is temporarily unable to play sports due to ill-health or injury.”

On the evening of 20 August, competitors and their families will gather in Life Science Centre for a private celebration of the Games, with about 2,000 people from around the world enjoying a variety of cultural activities.

For more information on the World Transplant Games 2019 and how to get involved visit

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