LiveBritish Transplant Games - Opening ceremony and Day 1

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The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

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  • Reporters Liam Thorp and Jeremy Culley bring you live updates from the British Transplant Games, which started in Bolton today.
  • Today's events include:
  • Registration at Bolton Whites Hotel from 10am to 2.30pm
  • Archery at Bolton Arena from 11.30am to 4.30pm
  • Lawn Bowls (preliminary round) at Bolton Bowling Club from 1.30pm to 5.30pm
  • Squash at George Carnall leisure centre (near Trafford Centre) 1.30pm to 5.30pm
  • Golf practice session at Regent Park Club from 7.30am until 5.30pm
  • Opening ceremony in Victoria Square from 5pm onwards


Bolton's own Ayesha Brookes (right) lights the flame which signals the start of the 2014 Transplant Games in Bolton.The Bolton News:


The Transplant Games 2014 Bolton are officially open!

The Bolton News:


Bolton girl Matilda Carroll is now on stage singing "a moment like this" to usher in the end of this opening ceremony.

Thank you for following this live blog and I hope you enjoy the games.

I also reiterate the importance of signing the organ donor register.

As the athletes here this weekend will testify, it saves lives.


Flames erupt and streamers rain down on the crowd following the announcement. A bit of a shock and I knew it was coming!


He thanks the sponsors, organisers and donor families.

He now declares the games open!


Andrew Eddy, from Transplant Sport, is addressing the crowd. He says he looks forward to the games every day and every month of the year.

he urges children competing to find Terry the Turtle over the four days and take a selfie with him. Then it'll be out on the games' website.


And they are.....The Bolton News:


Pictures of the teams arriving in Victoria Square for the opening ceremony. There is a really good atmosphere in Victoria Square, not too late to get down there!The Bolton News: The Bolton News: The Bolton News: The Bolton News:


He says to the crowd "enjoy yourselves"


Bill Noble, a swimmer from Wythenshawe, is reading the athlete's oath.


It looks like young Ayesha is from Bolton Lads and Girls Club.


The flame is lit to rapturous applause. The games are underway!


Bolton girl Ayesha Brooke's is one of those picked to light the flame, as the flag is hoisted in front of the town hall


The flag is now being unveiled by Mr Eddy, Cllr Shaw and the patients.


Cllr Shaw is on stage to accept the flag, along with Katie Starkey, Connor Ellis and James Colbeck from Manchester children's hospital.


The games flag will soon be brought onto the stage by representatives from Sheffield and Leeds, last year's hosts.


He says the town is proud to play host but we mustn't forget the games are about raising awareness of organ donation.


He's giving us a potted history, from 99 athletes in 1978 to 752 this year.


Cllr Anthony Connell will welcome us all to the games.


Team Australia is last in. We beat them at the commonwealth, I'm sure we'll do so again.


A real warm cheer from the athletes as the donor families team makes it's entrance. The athletes' pen looks fit to burst.


Manchester's huge team is now filing in, to a big cheer, followed by Wythenshawe, the region's centre for transplant operations.


The council has really gone to town with this one, with a big screen erected in the corner. A word on the crowd count...not 2,000 yet but several hundred are here in the square.


A bald man who has clearly drunk too much is making embarassingly ignorant comments behind me. To anyone reading this standing near me, he's not worth the attention.


Cllr Morris and Mr Crausby are still going strong, clapping each team in.


My home City Nottingham have arrived, with an adults and children's team


The Leeds team has arrived, a rowdy bunch. "Leeds, Leeds, Leeds" they cry.


Among the dignitaries on the steps of Bolton Town Hall are Cllr Cliff Morris, David Crausby MP, Dr Wirin Bhatiani from Bolton CCG and deputy mayor Cllr Colin Shaw.


The teams are now being announced by the tannoy. Just two people from Hammersmith are here but they get a big cheer. More to follow we're informed.


The Bolton News:


The Bolton News:


A few of the members Leeds Little Livers Team, who are a team of children all of whom have had life-saving liver transplants, get ready for the parade which opens the Transplant games 2014.

The Bolton News:


We're off, I'm marching with the band now! This has certainly captured the public's imagination, a lot of people flaming the band's progress


Ruben Gerard aged two who had a liver transplant in May 2013 is certainly enjoying the music on offer at the opening ceremony

The Bolton News:


The band has started up again. Very impressive but my eardrums are taking a pounding.


The teams, from Alder Hey and Addenbrookes, will be starting off the parade, which will be in alphabetical order. Last year's winners Birmingham have a big team again.


Local band Lime Chase at the opening ceremony of the Transplant Games 2014 in Victoria SquareThe Bolton News:


Hundreds of athletes are now in place for the parade, which leaves in just under 10 minutes. 

Each team has a placard with their hospitals name on it. Manchester and Wythenshawe are both well represented.


The Bolton News:

The Shree Swaminarayan Gadi band


The Bolton News:

One of the games' first gold medallists, Alan Leacock, a double lung transplant patient from Wythenshawe who won today's snooker event.


A Scottish pipe band will lead the parade down Matlet Street down Market Street. They have started playing now.


I've hit footed it across to the market place, where Andrew Eddy's Gifted Organs are performing. Excitement is growing among the athletes.


About half an hour before the athletes parade down Market Street for the ceremony. 

Remember none would be here without life-saving transplants.


Singer Trish Chantelle, who has shades of Amy Winehouse about her, has just performed Valerie in Victoria Square.

Little Voices are up now.


The charming people from Bright Shapes are now in residence on the main stage. Adam and Curt looking very dapper in their red suits. Jane's dulcet tones are sure to drag the crowds in.


The Bolton News:

Crowds slowly gathering in the square. A huge pen has been set aside for the athletes. Perhaps it's pessimistic of me, but I think the crowd of 2,000 expected by Bolton Council could be a little toppish.


Over on centre stage rock quartet Lime Chase have started up the music.

An interesting-looking crew these young lads...imagine Noël Gallagher and Harry Styles. They're somewhere in between.


Just had a chat with the chair of The Transplant Games, Anthony Connell.

He said it's been a pleasure to meet the transplant patients from across the UK who have descended on Bolton.

Friends of his who are visiting have remarked on how friendly and welcoming the Bolton public have been to them.


Mr Eddy incidentally has now hot footed it over to the Market Place.

as well as organising the games, he will also entertain the athletes as they gather for the parade into the square for the ceremony with his band, The Gifted Organs.

All three members are transplant recipients.



The Bolton News:

On a lighter note, here's a snap of yours truly with the games' mascot Tony the Turtle. 


Crowds are starting to gather in the square, as the acts go through last minute rehearsals.

Just spoken to Josh, Curt and Jane, who make up acoustic trio Bright Shapes.

it will be the biggest home crowd the Bolton group has ever played in front of.

All three have signed the organ donor register.

Adam said: "We're delighted to be here. It's so important that such awareness of organ transplants is being raised by these games."


Music is due to start at about 5, with the athletes arriving in Victoria Square at 6.30. 

The games will be opened and the flame lit at about 7.30pm.


Just chatting to Andrew Eddy, president of Transplant Sport, who has been overwhelmed with the welcome Bolton has given him.


The Bolton News:

The main stage in the square as the opening ceremony draws nearer.


Right well that is me done for a bit, both archery and snooker are still going on and there is squash taking place at the George Carnall leisure centre near the Trafford Centre too.

Later on my esteemed colleague Jeremy will be taking you through the festivities for tonight's opening ceremony which is taking place in Victoria Square from 5pm.



I managed to catch up with Curtis Jackson who has featured in The Bolton News in the run up to the games, he had a heart transplant back in 2010.

He was chuffed to win his first snooker match of the day and even more chuffed to simply be taking part.

Mr Jackson, from Harwood, said:"Four years ago I wouldn't have been able to walk around the table, let alone play."


It's all very tense at the snooker club, these players are taking it very seriously


Right time to get a bit snooker loopy now, were off to Bolton Snooker Club


Just spoke to one of the archery winners, Sam Newton from Spalding, he won the male aged 30 to 39 category.

He had a simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplant in February this year, amazing stuff!


Just spoke to one of the archery winners, Sam Newton from Spalding, he won the male aged 30 to 39 category.

He had a simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplant in February this year, amazing stuff!


Here are members of team Glasgow including Gail Cullen and Lynn Barr who have both benefitted from life saving kidney transplants, they weren't that happy with their archery efforts but are just delighted to be here.

The Bolton News:



The Bolton News:

Natalie's dad's t-shirt says it all...



Just bumped into one of our poster girls, Natalie Kerr, who had a double  lung transplant which saved her life.

She is getting a bit of archery coaching from coach Pete (in the green) and will also be doing swimming and the 5k donor run over the weekend.

Her family are giving her great support as ever.

The Bolton News:


Right time to head off to see some budding archers In action, if you don't hear from me soon I presume I've stepped onto the wrong bit of the course!


Those guys below are part of a special band that will be kicking off tonight's opening ceremony.

Andrew Eddy on the left is the chair of Transplant Sport and he and the other members of 'the gifted organs' have all had life saving transplants.

David O'Rourke on the right told me that one of the songs the guys will be performing tonight from 5.30pm at The Market Place is called 'Heaven Streets' which he wrote as a thank you to the boy who donated him a kidney when David was just 3 years old


The Bolton News:


Already spotted teams from as far as Oxford and Plymouth who have made the trip up to our fair town to take part in these special games


The Bolton News:


Morning everyone and welcome to day one of the British Transplant Games which is being held in Bolton! I am currently at the Macron Stadium (still getting used to calling it that) as hundreds of athletes are turning up to register for their events, soon I'll be heading off to the first event which is archery at Boltona arena, for those interested I will be watching from a safe distance


Here's the running order for the opening ceremony this evening:

5.00pm  Teams start to arrive on Corporation Street at Market Place

5.00pm  Opening ceremony starts in Victoria Square

5.15pm  Lime Chase perform in Victoria Square

5.30pm  Bright Shapes perform in Victoria Square

5.30pm  Gifted Organs perform in Market Place

5.42pm  Trish Chantelle performs in Victoria Square

5.55pm  Little Voices perform in Victoria Square

6.15pm  The Rock Choir perform in Victoria Square

6.30pm  Parade of approximately 800 athletes from Market Place to Victoria Squareto commence led by Swaminarayan Gadi Pipe Band

7.00pm  Councillor Connell, Chair of the Transplant Games, does public welcome

7.05pm  MC introduces Transplant Games flag and flame. Bolton athlete and Deputy Mayor of Bolton on stage to receive flag and flame. Flag ceremony to include: Kaleigh Starkey – Manchester Childrens, Connor Catterall – Manchester Childrens, James Colbeck – Manchester Adults & Andy McGarry – Wythenshawe. Lighting flame: Ayesha Brookes – Manchester Childrens, Zoe Dixon – Manchester Adults, John Fort – Wythenshawe. Athletes’ oath read by Bill Noble - Wythenshawe

7.10pm  President of Transplant Sport, Andrew Eddy, declares the Games officially open

7.15pm  Final performance on stage by Rock Choir

7.30pm  Finale with confetti canons 


You can read a bit more about the games here.


Morning all. The British Transplant Games is due to start in Bolton today. There are a few events on today, includling the opening ceremony at 5pm in Bolton town centre. We'll be bringing you all the action live here.


Comments (2)

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7:03pm Thu 7 Aug 14

JustBecause says...

Who comes up with the dates and timing for these things? No wonder its empty at 5.30 on a Thursday.......
Who comes up with the dates and timing for these things? No wonder its empty at 5.30 on a Thursday....... JustBecause
  • Score: -3

9:33pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Citizen Cane says...

I hope that our council tax is not funding this pageant.
I hope that our council tax is not funding this pageant. Citizen Cane
  • Score: -3

Comments are closed on this article.

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