**Press release produced by 1visionpr on behalf of TSUK**
The local organising committee of the Westfield Health British Transplant Games welcomes the Transplant Games Torch to Belfast to kick-start this year’s events with the support of proud sponsor Belfast City Airport and transplant athletes.
The British Transplant Games will take place in Belfast from 4–7 August 2011 and exists to showcase the benefits of transplantation, encourage those who have had a transplant to lead active and healthy lives’ and highlight the desperate need for more organ donors across the UK. The event will see around 500 athletes, each of whom have received a life saving organ transplant, take part in the 20 sporting activities during the four day period. While competition will undoubtedly be fierce, each of the athletes have already won the race...the race for life.
Each year the torch is displayed across various locations in the host city and links the previous year’s host city to the current venue.
The displaying of the torch is an exciting time for athletes and supporters alike. It symbolises the ‘gift of life’, gives thanks to organ donors and their families and provides an excellent opportunity to promote the NHS Organ Donor Register and encourage everyone in Northern Ireland to sign up.
The torch was displayed in Northern Ireland in 1998 when the Games were last in Belfast. Since then, there has been an increase in people signing the NHS Organ Donor Register. There are now over 495,000 people in Northern Ireland signed up to the register, which represents 28% of the population. While this is a fantastic achievement, there are still not enough organs available for those who desperately need them.
Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive of the Public Health Agency and Chair of the local organising committee for the Games, said, “I am delighted to see the Transplant Games Torch back in Belfast. The games are a very exciting time for everyone involved, and I would like to thank Belfast City Airport for their kindness and generosity in sponsoring the Belfast adults’ team.
Displaying the torch in Belfast City Airport today in front of many people from across the world is a great way of giving thanks to donor families and is a symbol of hope for all those waiting for a transplant. With the Games fast approaching, I would like to encourage everyone who has not yet signed the NHSOrgan Donor Register to please do so today.”
Ruth Morgan of Belfast City Airports Community Fund Committee said, “We are delighted that our Community Fund can extend its support to such an inspirational event.
We hope our backing of the event will help raise awareness of the significance of the games and the number of lives that are dependent on organ transplantation.
We are excited that the torch will begin its journey from Belfast City Airport, and we wish the Belfast Team every success during the games, and through their personal journeys, and also, Transplant Sport UK in their goal to raise the number of organ donors throughout the UK.”
Sign up today and help save a life in Northern Ireland – Call: 0300 123 23 23, text SAVE to 84118 or visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Final consent is taken from the next of kin, so it is vital that you discuss your wishes with them now
Notes to the editor
Front Row, from left, Holding the Games Torch, Lorraine Cummings, heart recipient and Rachel McCrea kidney recipient.
Middle Row L-R;
Monica Hackett, NHSBT,Team Manager, Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive of the Public Health Agency and Chair of the local organising committee for the Games, Janet Coleman, kidney recipient, Cara Hearts, liver recipient.
Back row L-R
Terry Woods, transplant recipient, Stephen Clements, City beat, Barrie Beswick , heart recipient, Philip Cairnduff, liver recipient,Tony Miskelly, bone marrow recipient.