Athletes prepare for 40th British Transplant Games

Linda owen and 2 year old twins webcrop

Athletes are aged between three and 82 and will compete across 23 sports.

21st July 2017 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

More than 750 athletes from around the UK are preparing for this year’s Westfield Health British Transplant Games. 

Now in its 40th year, the annual event celebrates the achievements of people who have had life-saving transplant surgery.

Athletes are aged between three and 82 and will compete across 23 sports including volleyball, archery, athletics, golf, squash, snooker, tennis and swimming. 

This year’s games are being held in North Lanarkshire from Thursday 27 to Sunday 30 July.

It’s not easy to find time to train whilst also working and having a family

Linda Owen, from Lockerbie, is one of this year’s competitors.

In October 2014 Linda was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy whilst 34 weeks pregnant with twins.

After the birth, it was decided a transplant was required and after 12 days of waiting, she received a heart transplant.

The 36-year-old is taking part in the games for the first time this year, competing solo in the 3km run, and with her husband, son and daughter in the donor run.

She said: “I am taking part in the games because I like a challenge.

“Last year’s challenge was to graduate with a master’s degree, which I did. This year, I wanted to do something that would encourage me to be more active.

“It’s not easy to find time to train whilst also working and having a family. I am so looking forward to the games and meeting other transplant athletes and hearing their stories,”

Ahead of this year’s event, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) announced its sponsorship will continue in 2017 and 2018.

James Cant, director of BHF Scotland, said: “The BHF’s aim is to play a leading role in the fight against heart disease, by funding world-class research, so it’s no longer a major cause of disability or premature death.

“The work that the Westfield Health British Transplant Games does is a really positive way of demonstrating the importance of organ donation and leading an active, healthy life.”

Lynne Holt, chair of the management committee for Transplant Sport, said: “The BHF has been a major supporter of the games and it is great to have its support for a further two years.

“We are looking forward to continuing our work with the nation’s heart charity to promote the importance of organ donation.”

The games are not ticketed and entry is free to all sporting events with the exception of darts. 

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