The British Transplant Games 2019

Our Trustee, Karen Rockell, took part in the 2019 British Transplant Games in Newport. Below she gives us an overview of the four day event, including some of her favourite moments.

'The opening ceremony was held at Rodney Parade football stadium, Newport, Wales over 1000 people - spectators, supporters and entertainers took their seats in the stadium. One by one, the adult teams were introduced, parading around the stadium to cheers and met by local groups and clubs as they passed them. Then came the children’s teams and the cheering got louder.  Finally (and the best) were the Live Donors and Donor Family Network, receiving the longest standing ovation (and many tears) - a chance for us transplantees to remember and be reminded of how and why we are still here - the gift of transplantation - a decision made by families at the hardest time.

Opening ceremony
Four days of competition, from darts and ten pin bowling to swimming, athletics and archery. Novices to champions there was such a mix, everyone with their own personal goals. One young lady only learnt to swim earlier this year and she was brave enough to swim in the 50 freestyle. She didn’t win but she received a standing ovation which brings tears to my eyes when I think of it. It was an honour to be there to witness her bravery and determination.
 
This was my fifth BTG and I loved it just as much this time. I also managed to win four gold medals in the swimming!
medals

To sum up the Westfield British Transplant Games - there were tears, laughter, excitement, love, jubilation, exhilaration, sadness, friendship, support, kindness, respect nervousness and pride. An awesome experience and an opportunity to raise awareness of organ donation. Newport did an amazing job and delivered a brilliant games (it helped that the sun shone the whole time!) and the baton has been passed on to Coventry for 2020.  

I hope to see some of you there next year either as spectators (which is free) or competitors representing your transplant unit.'