This summer (28-31 July 2022), the Westfield Health British Transplant Games are back! The countdown is on, and Games organisers are preparing to host one of the biggest events to date in Leeds, raising awareness of the life-saving benefits of organ donation
The flagship event of Transplant Sport will see over 2,000 people, including 800 transplanted athletes, travel to Yorkshire, bringing the transplant community together for the first time since 2019.
For some, the British Transplant Games is a highlight of their summer after having competed for many years, but many will experience the Games for the first time this July. John Ainley will be taking part in the Games for the first time as part of the Leeds Adults Team, after receiving a liver transplant ten years ago due to contracting the disease PSC.
John is the Managing Director of Leeds-based design and media agency The Ark. Since finding out about the British Transplant Games, John wanted to get involved as much as possible as the event is on his doorstep. The Ark has provided the Games with outdoor advertising opportunities, worth over £150,000.
John said: “The support from St James Hospital Liver Transplant Team in Leeds has always been excellent, so when we found out about the Games, we as a family felt it was a great thing to help promote and give back.
“Unfortunately, the PSC that killed my original Liver has since returned, so some time in the future I will be back in the position of hoping a gift of a new liver will be possible. The last liver has meant I have seen my children who were six and nine when I have the transplant grow up into amazing people and my wife has had me around too.”
Digital adverts to promote the British Transplant Games, generate spectators and sign ups to the Donor Run and raise awareness of organ donation will be popping up in over 50 sites across Yorkshire and beyond in the run up to the Games.
John continued: “I feel the help our media space will give to the Games will be incredible. Digital media means we can easily change messages to keep the nation up to date with all the important event news and information, drive people to the Games website and hopefully encourage more families to have the conversation about organ donation.”
Ruth Brown, Chief Executive of Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the Transplant Games are in Yorkshire this July. The Games are a wonderful way of bringing together, celebrating, and raising awareness of everyone in the transplant community and we’re thrilled to be a part of it. We’re really looking forward to supporting the event and cheering everyone on.”
Dr Paul Harden, Chair of Trustees for Transplant Sport, said: “After two years of lockdowns and shielding, we finally don’t have too long to wait until this summer’s Games, and we are so proud to be hosting one of our biggest events yet.
“We can’t wait to be reunited in Leeds. It will be fantastic to see old friends and a pleasure to welcome so many new faces. The extremely generous support from The Ark will also mean that we can spread the messages about the Games and the life-saving benefits of organ donation to as many people as possible, we’re so grateful for the opportunity to do so.”
For more information on the Westfield Health British Transplant Games 2022, or to find out how you can be part of the Games, visit: https://www.britishtransplantgames.co.uk/get-involved