More than 1,800 participants and their supporters will descend on Belfast next August for the Westfield Health British Transplant Games.
The Games, now into their 34th year, are the biggest event in Transplant Sport UK’s calender and the main aim is to highlight the desperate need for organ donation and to encourage transplant recipients to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.
More than 800 people who have had a transplant between the ages of two and 82 will take part in 18 sporting activities at locations in and around Belfast, including archery, athletics, golf, squash, volleyball, snooker, tennis and swimming.
While competition will be fierce, the athletes have already won the race for life — winning a medal will be a bonus.
The Games are expected to have an economic impact value of about £2.5m in terms of tourism. Around 6,500 bednights will be booked throughout the duration of the event, with many visiting participants and their families keen to extend their trip to take in more of what Belfast and the rest of Northern Ireland has to offer visitors.
Transplant Sport UK has been working closely with the Belfast Visitor & Convention Bureau to ensure visitors get the most out of their stay.
Press coverage of the Games will ensure Belfast comes to the attention of the rest of the UK with £1.2m worth of free advertising for the city.
Transplant Sport UK is also sourcing the products and services required to run the Westfield Health British Transplant Games from local suppliers, ensuring local businesses receive a boost and benefit from the event.
As hosts for the Games, the people of Belfast are being given the opportunity to do what they do best — welcome visitors to their city.
Transplant Sport UK is asking people across Northern Ireland to show their support by becoming one of the 100 volunteers required for the event, running the Belfast City Marathon or signing the Organ Donor Register.
To become a volunteer, |contact Emma Dean on firstname.lastname@example.org. To help raise funds for TSUK by running the marathon, log onto www.belfastcitymarathon.com and tick the TSUK box when registering.
The Belfast Telegraph is calling on its readers to sign up and save lives — with only 26% of the population on the Organ Donor Register, the province is lagging behind many other regions in the UK when it comes to committing to giving one of the greatest gifts possible. To join the NHS Organ Donor Register and help save lives in Northern Ireland, text SAVE to 84118, telephone 0300 123 2323 or log onto www.organdonation.nhs.uk.