World Transplant Games 2019 Anthem Launched

26th July 2019

Stories of donation and transplantation have inspired an emotive new anthem for the upcoming World Transplant Games in NewcastleGateshead.

Acclaimed North East-based singer-songwriter, performer and musical director Beccy Owen is behind the anthem named ‘Love Runs Through Our Veins’. The anthem uses stories of transplantation to celebrate organ donation and the second chance of life that it gives.

Beccy has run her own record label for 18 years, in which time she has collaborated with world-class musicians including Elvis Costello, Maximo Park and Kate Rusby.

Beccy said: “It has been deeply moving to hear inspiring stories of transplantation during the songwriting process. A lot of my work involves encouraging people to explore, accept and empower their voice and personal stories, and the World Transplant Games anthem reflects this.

“I am delighted to have been able to pen an uplifting and hook-laden anthem for the World Transplant Games and I can’t wait to hear it at the opening ceremony.”

The anthem will be performed by The Kentones, a choir from Kenton School, at the World Transplant Games opening ceremony at Sport Central on Saturday 17 August. Transplant athletes are being encouraged to learn it so that they can join together and lend their voices for what promises to be an emotional performance.

The opening ceremony is one part of the World Transplant Games cultural programme which also includes the Gift of Life 5k run/walk in Exhibition Park and the Town Moor on Sunday 18 August, a cultural evening at Centre for Life and a Gala Celebration at the Utilita Arena to officially close the 2019 Games. Spectators are encouraged to cheer on the teams at the Athlete’s Parade from Eldon Square on Saturday 17th August at 3.30pm, as well as watch all the Games action over the week.

Vikki Leaney, Senior Festival and Events Manager at NewcastleGateshead Initiative who are delivering the Games alongside a range of partners, said: “Beccy has created a wonderfully emotive and powerful anthem for the World Transplant Games. It will be inspiring to hear thousands of athletes and their friends and families singing the anthem together at the opening ceremony.

“We have developed a wider cultural programme that gives the athletes the opportunity to come together and celebrate the amazing sporting achievements made possible by organ donation.”

Between 17 and 24 August nearly 2,500 athletes from 60 countries around the world will travel to the North East to compete. The Games are open to all ages and promote the benefits of transplantation and encourage transplant patients to regain fitness, as well as raising awareness of organ donation.

From Spring 2020 the law around organ and tissue donation in England is changing. Unless you choose to opt out, or are in an excluded group, if you are 18 and above and live in England it will be considered that you agreed to be an organ donor when you die. Whatever your decision, make your choice clear to your family and closest friends to help ensure your choice is honoured. NHS Blood and Transplant’s #PassItOn campaign encourages people to pass on their organs and save lives; make their decision and pass it on those closest to them; spread the word and help us pass on the campaign message to others.