Sunderland to host sporting events when the World Transplant Games come to the North East

Sunderland will host three of the World Transplant Games' sporting events when the largest organ donation event in the world comes to the North East this summer.

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 1:26 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 3:38 pm
Sunderland Aquatic Centre

The World Transplant Games, which are being held from August 17 to 24, are expected to attract around 3,000 participants from 70 countries - with the youngest participants aged just four-years-old.

While Newcastle Gateshead is hosting the games, three of the sports are being held in Sunderland including:

• Swimming, which has the second largest number of competitors in the games, at Sunderland Aquatic Centre • Road cycling at Hetton Lyons Country Park • Ten Pin Bowling at AMF Bowling Washington

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All those taking part are either recipients of organ or tissue transplant, living donors or donor families.

Councillor John Kelly, cabinet member for communities and culture, said: "We're delighted to be hosting three of The World Transplant Games' sports in Sunderland this summer.

"This builds on the success of events like the National Cyclocross at Hetton Lyons Country Park in 2018 and the Tall Ships Races which brought in the region of 1.2 million visitors to the city last summer, the Airshow, the Illuminations and Festival of Light, and more recently the Leonardo exhibition which all contribute to Sunderland’s growing reputation as an events city.

"We hope lots of people will come along to watch the swimming, cycling and ten pin bowling events in Sunderland and be inspired by the athletes taking part to sign up to be organ donors.

"The purpose of The Games is to raise public awareness and acceptance of organ donation and encourage people to sign up as organ donors and discuss their wishes with their loved ones.

"We know that at any one time there are around 5,900 people on the transplant waiting list and on average three people die every day who could have benefited from organ donation.

"But The Games are also very much about celebrating the gift of life, courage and physical fitness. So I would encourage everyone who hasn't already done so to sign up the NHS Organ donor register at here."