Sunderland will host three sporting events when the World Transplant Games heads to the North East this summer.
From 17-24 August, NewcastleGateshead will host the world’s largest organ donation event. The North East will welcome over 3,000 participants from 70 different countries to compete in a range of different sports.
Sunderland will play a prominent role as three sporting events will take place at several venues across Wearside. Swimming will be held at Sunderland Aquatic Centre, road cycling at Hetton Lyons Country Park and ten-pin bowling at AMF Bowling in Washington.
Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland City Council 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.”
All of the participants in the World Transplant Games have been directly involved in some way with organ donation.
To find out more about the NHS organ donor register, click here.
To find out more about the 2019 World Transplant Games, click here.