Transplant Sport NI team success at British Transplant Games | News in Newry | Latest Newry News, Newry Sport and Newry Business for Newry City

Transplant Sport NI team success at British Transplant Games | News in Newry

Transplant Sport Northern has just returned after 4 days of competition at the British Transplant Games which were held at the end of July in Coventry (27-30 July). 


Transplant Sport NI team success at British Transplant Games | News in Newry - newry news today


Often referred to as a ‘celebration of life’, the Games have been running for over 40 years, and transplant survivors including children as young as five can compete in more than 25 sports, with many athletes going on to compete at the World Transplant Games. 

The Games are also an opportunity to show appreciation for, and remember, organ donors and their families.

Teams from hospitals across the UK come together to compete in a medley of sports over the 4-day event. 

It attracts around 1,000 transplant athletes and more than 1,700 supporters.

This year, 19 transplanted patients from across Northern Ireland attended the Games as part of the Transplant Sport Northern Ireland (TSNI) team. 

They were supported by a Belfast Health and Social Care Trust staff member who provided medical support to the team and a massage therapist who himself is a kidney recipient.


It's Time for Giant Events - WTG Newry Times


This year’s team won 13 gold, 9 silver and 8 bronze medals over the 4 days.

The team ranging in age from 18 to 60+ consisted of 11 Kidney recipients, 4 Liver recipients, 1 heart transplant recipient, and 3 patients who have had their life transformed through bone marrow/stem cell transplants.

The team also had 1 Living Donor who competed after donating his kidney to his brother, who also attended. 

The team took part in a wide range of sports including swimming, tennis, archery, table tennis, lawn bowls, ten-pin bowling, badminton, golf, cycling and track and field.  

For the second year running, TSNI were able to field a football team who competed in the 6-a-side competition.

Speaking about the team going to the Games, TSNI Team Manager, athlete and kidney recipient Kathryn Glover comments, “The Games is about participation; giving transplant recipients a chance to compete at sports because they can… because they have been given a second chance at life through the gift of organ donation.

“At the end of the 4-day event, many of our athletes returned home inspired to have a go at new sports or simply motivated to return next year stronger and fitter and ready for new challenges.”

Kathryn went on to say, “This year, we had six newly transplanted patients who attended their first BTG.

“It was inspirational watching how those participants grew in confidence and gave their all in their sporting events, forming bonds with teammates and fellow competitors who have been through similar life experiences, but ultimately contributing to the amazing team spirit that makes TSNI.”

Kathryn adds, “The Games, as well as highlighting the benefits of transplantation and increasing awareness of organ and tissue donation, also aim to inspire patients to increase their physical activity to help keep fit and ultimately benefit their health and well-being.”


Malone's Ice Cream Newry - ice cream van hire in newry - ice cream newry city


Jim Kilpatrick, a liver recipient from Donaghadee took part in archery, lawn bowls and ten-pin bowling winning 1 Silver and 1 Bronze medal.

Jim, who was able to connect with his donor family at the Games, comments, “For many transplant recipients, their transplant journey is often difficult to accept and manage.

“The British Transplant Games are the perfect vehicle in which to meet and become friends with fellow recipients and to learn of their journeys too.

“Ultimately our Games family is a close-knit group which encapsulates the message of living life to its fullest in honour of our donors.”

Kay Hack, a stem cell recipient from Coleraine competed in the 5K cycling time trial, 10K road race, 100m free swimming, and 1500m on the track.

Kay, a member of Bann Wheelers Cycling Club says, “The Transplant Games embody a profound sense of enablement and gratitude. Around 2,500 participants and supporters demonstrated the power of generosity and hope. United by a life-altering gift from organ and stem cell donors – every participant was a winner.”

In June, the law around organ donation in Northern Ireland changed to an opt-out system, known as ‘Dáithí’s Law’.

This now means in the event that organ donation is a possibility after you die, it will be considered that all adults agree to be an organ donor unless they choose to opt-out or are in an excluded group. 

The best way to opt out is by registering a decision not to donate on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

As organ and tissue donation and transplantation save and transform hundreds of lives each year, this new law will help more people save more lives by making it easier for those who support organ donation to say ‘yes’ to give the ‘gift of life’. 

This is because while the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland support organ donation, just over 53% of people have registered their decision to donate on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Last year in Northern Ireland, 59 amazing families supported the gift of organ donation, which enabled 140 life-saving transplants across the UK. 

Organ donation is a most precious gift, and the selfless act of donors and their families is at the heart of organ donation. 

Furthermore, there were 68 living donors in Northern Ireland last year. 

96 lives in Northern Ireland were saved and transformed through deceased organ donation last year, and 59 through living donation. 

However, there are around 140 people awaiting a transplant…waiting for the call to give them ‘the gift of life’.

You can opt in, opt out, or amend your decision at any time on the NHS Organ Donor Register. 

Once you have done this, it is extremely important to share your organ donation decision with those close to you. 

Should the worst happen, families find the organ donation conversation much easier if they already know what their relative would have wanted.

Only half of families agree to organ donation going ahead if they don’t know their loved one’s decision, but this rises to 9 out of 10 if the family has had a conversation. 


Keep up to date with all the latest Newry news today, what’s on in Newry, News in Newry, Newry Court News, Breaking News Newry and Today’s Newry News Now HERE.


Short URL:

Posted by on Aug 11 2023. Filed under Community, Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Find us on Facebook

Log in | Designed by Gabfire themes