BOLTON will play host to 1,000 inspirational athletes when the Westfield Health British Transplant Games are held in the town in August.
The annual sports spectacular will take place in Bolton from August 7 to August 14 and will see athletes who have successfully received heart, lung, kidney and bone marrow transplants compete in 18 different sports at a variety of venues across the borough.
The games, which are organised on behalf of the charity Transplant Sport, have been in existence for more than 30 years and are held at different locations across the UK every year.
The main aim is to raise awareness of the NHS Organ Donor Register and promote the value of donation.
The Bolton News has launched its own campaign — Sign Up To Save Lives — and is urging 5,000 extra people to sign up to the Organ Donor Register.
Athletes will compete in activities such as football, badminton, athletics and golf, as well as snooker, archery, lawn bowls and table tennis.
The proceedings will start with an opening ceremony in Bolton’s Victoria Square on Thursday, August 7, before events begin across the town’s top venues including the Bolton Whites Hotel, Bolton One, Bolton Lads and Girls Club and Bolton Arena.
Lynne Holt, a trustee of Transplant Sport said: “We are delighted the Westfield Health British Transplant Games are coming to Bolton this August and are excited about using the many excellent sports venues here. This event will bring in 2,000 people to Bolton, including transplant athletes and supporters.”
The games are not just about promoting the idea of transplants but also a celebration of those who have donated organs, and there will be special donor run event, The Bolton News Donor Run, at Leverhulme Park on Saturday, August 9.
The event is also expected to provide a boost to Bolton’s economy, with the town expected to bring in about £2 million.
Cllr Christopher Peacock, who chairs the Bolton Sports and Physical Activity Alliance said: “I am delighted that this massive, prestigious event is coming to Bolton — this is another indication that Bolton is becoming a well known venue for major sporting events.”
The principal sponsor of the games is Sheffield-based health insurance firm, Westfield Health. Chairman Graham Moore said he is “very proud” to be backing the Bolton games.
He added: “We are looking forward to it immensely and I know that the warm-hearted people of Bolton will respond in a typically generous manner.
“The games will raise awareness of transplantation — in a civilised society, we cannot rest in our beds when three people a day are dying waiting for a transplant.”
Registration for the event will open in February, for more details visit britishtransplant games.co.uk/future-games.
Anyone between the age of two and 80 who has undergone a major organ transplant can take part.