The Public Health Agency (PHA) has congratulated the Belfast Transplant Games Team on its success after retaining the coveted Rosebowl trophy for the best overall adult team for the second year in a row. Over the past four days, transplant athletes from across Northern Ireland have been competing in the Westfield Health British Transplant Games in Medway, England and have returned home with scores of medals.
Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive of the Public Health Agency and Chair of the Northern Ireland Committee for Organ Donation, said: “The games exist to showcase the benefits of transplantation, to encourage those who have had a transplant to lead active and healthy lives and to highlight the desperate need for more organ donors across the UK. At this year’s games the Northern Ireland athletes have retained the coveted Rosebowl trophy won at the Belfast games last year for the best overall adult team.”
Supporters and athletes joined together at the event to show their support for the transplant athletes and, most importantly, organ donation. The event saw around 1,000 athletes, each of whom has received a lifesaving transplant, compete at various events over the four day period.
Dr Rooney continued: “The games are an excellent opportunity to come together to celebrate the gift of life and show support for organ donation. There are now over 532,500 registrants on the Organ Donation Register in Northern Ireland, over 30,000 more people than on the first day of the Transplant Games in August 2011.
“I would like everyone to show their appreciation of our transplant athletes by signing the Organ Donor Register and speaking to family and friends about their wishes. By giving just two minutes of our time to register today, we can help save lives – there can be no better gift than this.”
Next year, the British Transplant Games will be held in Sheffield, where the Belfast team will be determined to defend its title again.
Notes to the editor
You can join the NHS Organ Donor Register by:
- Filling in a form online at: www.organdonation.nhs.uk
- Calling the NHS Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23 (lines are open 24 hours a day)
- Texting SAVE to 84118
You can also join when you are:
- Registering for a driving licence
- Applying for a Boots Advantage card
- Registering at a GP surgery
- Registering for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) Leaflets are also displayed in GP surgeries, libraries and many hospitals and pharmacies. The NHS Organ Donor Register records the details of people who have registered their wish to donate organs and/or tissue after their death for transplantation. This information is used by authorised medical staff to establish whether a person wanted to donate. Final consent is taken from the next of kin, so it is vital that you discuss your wishes with them now.