Washington bowls over teams from across the globe as town hosts World Transplant Games
Competitors were able to strike up new friendships as they came together as part of the World Transplant Games, which are being co-hosted by Sunderland.
Hollywood Bowl in Washington is one of the venues for the games as the North East welcomes the competition.
Hetton Lyons Country Park and Sunderland Aquatic Centre also among the venues supporting the sessions.
People aged up to 80 have taken part so far, with more women’s and men’s sessions set to run from 7am to 7pm on August 20.
The general public will not be able to bowl at the alley during the competition, but spectators are welcome to watch the contests, which will see about 100 people take part in total.
Among those to play so far have been Karen Barrett, 55, while her husband Roger, 59, has been lending his support ahead of his appearance in the 100 metre race and ball throwing at Gateshead Stadium on Thursday.
Karen received a kidney from her husband three years ago after suffering chronic kidney disease.
Karen said: “It’s been very welcoming here and it’s nice to make friends and there’s lots of other people here who have been through the same thing.
Roger added: “It’s been good to see people we’ve met in training and seeing how well they’ve done.”
Tony Harding, originally from Tasmania and now living in Sydney, is among the members of the Australian side.
The 56-year-old, who had a liver transplant 31 years ago, said: “It’s been wonderful.
“It’s about spreading the word about organ and tissue donation, that you should live your life as fully and as best you can as a way of saying thank you to your donor family.”
Bob Newbould is managing the events held at The Galleries venue.
He said: “The atmosphere has been fantastic and to see so many different countries being so friendly to each other is wonderful.
“People from all four corners of the globe come together has been great and to see so many smiling faces too.
“The hospitality of the staff has been fantastic too.”