Hundreds of athletes from across the country will gather in Bolton on Thursday, August 7 to mark the start of the British Transplant Games.
The 2014 Westfield Health British Transplant Games will officially kick off in style with an opening ceremony in Victoria Square, starting at 5pm.
The games, being held in Bolton for the first time, will take place in and around the town between August 7 and 10.
They will be the largest ever held with 752 registered athletes, from 54 hospital teams, set to compete, and a ‘games family’ of spectators, volunteers and supporters of around 2000 people.
The event aims to showcase the benefit of organ donation, increase the number of people on the Organ Donation Register, whilst giving athletes who have had a transplant the chance to compete in a range of sports.
An estimated 2,000 people are expected to pack into Victoria Square for the official opening ceremony.
Organisers have arranged a line-up of local talent to entertain on the night. Acts include four-piece alternative rock band Lime Chase and acoustic trio Bright Shapes.
Local singer Trish Chantelle, a performance by music and drama group Little Voices and the Rock Choir will also entertain the crowds.
The Gifted Organs will also play at Market Place Shopping Centre between 5.30pm and 6pm. The group is made up of three musicians who have all received transplants: Andrew Eddy, who is also the President of Transplant Sport, James Tottle and Daniel O’Rourke.
At 6.30pm, hundreds of athletes, who have all undergone an organ transplant of one kind or another, will parade from the Market Place Shopping Centre, led by the Swaminarayan Gadi pipe band, along Market Street and into Victoria Square for approximately 7pm.
The deputy Mayor of Bolton, Councillor Colin Shaw, will receive the Transplant Games flag and flame on stage to signal the start of the games, and the President of Transplant Sport, Andrew Eddy, will declare the games officially open.
A grand finale at approximately 7.30pm will see streamers shower down upon the crowds.
Chair of the British Transplant Games, Councillor Anthony Connell, said: “The games are an inspirational event, which celebrate the courage of athletes, and we’re looking forward to welcoming them and their supporters to Bolton.”
Over the course of four days the athletes will compete for medals in a range of events, including track and field, swimming, badminton, tennis and snooker.
The Bolton News Donor Run, has also been organised for everyone to join in, with race distances of 3km or 5km at Leverhulme Park, on August 9. For more details see www.donorrun.co.uk
Almost 7,000 people in the UK are estimated to be waiting for an organ transplant, with three people dying each day whilst waiting to find a match.
The games are organised by Sheffield-based events company, MLS Contracts LTD and supported by not for profit health insurance provider Westfield Health. For further information about the games visit www.britishtransplantgames.co.uk.
Running order for the opening ceremony, August 7
(please note timings/acts subject to change)
5.00pm Teams start to arrive on Corporation Street at Market Place (MP)
5.00pm Opening ceremony starts in Victoria Square (VS)
5.15pm Lime Chase perform (VS)
5.30pm Bright Shapes perform (VS)
5.30pm Gifted Organs perform (MP)
5.42pm Trish Chantelle performs (VS)
5.55pm Little Voices perform (VS)
6.15pm The Rock Choir perform (VS)
6.30pm Parade of athletes from MP to VS to 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.
7.10pm President of Transplant Sport, Andrew Eddy, declares the Games officially open
7.30pm Finale with confetti canons