World Transplant Games delegation in the North East as preparations continue for 2019
19th October 2017
An international delegation is visiting the North East this week to review preparations for the World Transplant Games which will be hosted in the region in 2019.
Delegates from the World Transplant Games Federation, including President Chris Thomas (Australia), Executive Manager Kim Renyard (South Africa) and Colin White (Ireland), met with members of the Local Organising Committee for the World Transplant Games NewcastleGateshead 2019 to discuss preparation for the games and visited local venues, including Close House, which will play host to the golf in 2019.
The World Transplant Games NewcastleGateshead will take place from 17-24 August 2019, and will be hosted at some of the top sports venues in Tyne and Wear, including Gateshead International Stadium, Sport Central at Northumbria University, Newcastle United F.C and the Sunderland Aquatic Centre.
Chris Thomas, President of the World Transplant Games Federation, said: “The aim of the World Transplant Games is to raise awareness of the need for more donors globally, while encouraging transplant patients to regain fitness.
“The North East of England is world renowned for expertise in transplantation and this was among the many reasons that the Federation decided NewcastleGateshead would be a fantastic location to host the World Transplant Games in 2019. Equally, thanks to Transplant Sport UK, the country has long been at the forefront of driving the profile and success of transplant sports globally. Hosting the World Transplant Games in 2019 is an ideal opportunity to showcase their expertise working with the local organising committee in NewcastleGateshead. It’s brilliant to hear how the preparations are coming along and see how our athletes will be welcomed in 2019.”
It was announced earlier this year that leading health and wellbeing specialist, Westfield Health, had come onboard as one of the major sponsors of the Games and representatives from the company were also involved in the visit.
Graham Wylie, Chair of the Local Organising Committee for World Transplant Games 2019, said: “The World Transplant Games demonstrate the extraordinary things that transplant patients are able to achieve and help to raise awareness of organ and tissue donation. We are honoured to be able to welcome an inspiring celebration of human courage and physical fitness to the North East.
“To help us make the Games in 2019 an outstanding success, we are delighted that Westfield Health – a passionate supporter of transplant sport as long-term sponsors of the British Transplant Games since 2008 – are continuing their support as a major sponsor of the world games and, in doing so, helping us to welcome the best transplant athletes from across the globe to the North East.”
NewcastleGateshead was chosen as the World Transplant Games host venue in 2016, beating off stiff competition from Houston, Texas in America.
The summer instalment of the World Transplant Games takes place every two years and was last held in the UK 22 years ago with Manchester as host city. Its return is due in part to NewcastleGateshead’s successful delivery of the 2015 British Transplant Games, described by organisers and participants as “the best-ever”.
Sarah Stewart, chief executive at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, added: “It’s great to be able to welcome members of the World Transplant Games Federation and update them on our preparations for 2019. We’re expecting to welcome more than 3,000 participants, including athletes, from more than 50 countries to the North East, all of whom compete following successful organ and tissue transplants.
“It’s our ambition to ensure more people have the opportunity to engage with the World Transplant Games by staging events in public spaces and in world-class sporting facilities across the destination. Raising awareness about the importance of organ donation is a key part of staging the Games, which is why we want to make the events, and the athletes, as visible as possible so they can inspire others to sign the organ donor register.”
For more information on the World Transplant Games NewcastleGateshead 2019 visit http://worldtransplantgames.org/.
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Notes to editors:
About the World Transplant Games
- The World Transplant Games are staged by The World Transplant Games Federation in order to promote the benefits of transplantation, raise public awareness and increase organ donation, whilst encouraging transplant patients to regain fitness.
- The Games are staged annually (Summer and Winter Games alternate each year) and are held in a different country each year, to support the Federation’s aims of engaging with the global transplant community and spread the message about the need for people to not only sign the donation register, but share their wishes with family.
- The World Transplant Games Federation was officially formed in 1987, and now has almost 70 member countries worldwide.
- For more information of the World Transplant Games Federation visit – http://wtgf.org
- The World Transplant Games NewcastleGateshead 2019 will take place 17-24 August 2019, following the successful delivery of the Westfield Health British Transplant Games 2015.
- The World Transplant Games 2019 are delivered by destination management and marketing organisation, NewcastleGateshead Initiative in partnership with a range of stakeholders and partners including, MLS, Newcastle City Council, Gateshead Council, Transplant Sport, The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle University, Northumbria University Newcastle, Donor Family Network, NHS Blood & Transplant and Community Foundation.
- The Local Organising Committee for the World Transplant Games 2019 is chaired by North East businessman, Graham Wylie.
- Westfield Health are the first major sponsors to support the Games.
- For more information on the World Transplant Games visit worldtransplantgames.org