Transplant athletes are going for gold

Transplant games at EIS Sheffield'Volleyball competition underway
Transplant games at EIS Sheffield'Volleyball competition underway

Athletes aimed for victory as an inspirational sporting event got under way in Sheffield.

Volleyball and table tennis were among the events taking place for hundreds of sportsmen and women.

Transplant Games at EIS Sheffield'Table Tennis event atking place at the centre

Transplant Games at EIS Sheffield'Table Tennis event atking place at the centre

But no matter who wins they all have a common cause – raising awareness of organ donation and thanking the people who have given them a second chance at life.

People of all ages are taking part in the Westfield Health British Transplant Games at venues across the city.

One of them is dad-of-two Stewart Graves who has already claimed a silver medal in table tennis.

Gardener Stewart, who is in the Sheffield team after a kidney transplant 18 years ago, said: “It is a brilliant atmosphere at the games, really good.

“I’ve got friends and family here to cheer me on. I have done the games every year since my transplant. It’s just the best way to celebrate the fact you have had the transplant and thank your donor.

“I also like to meet up with old friends who’ve taken part in previous games and who have been through the same as I have. I’m also competing in the darts and the 5K walk event later.”

The games – which kicked off with a spectacular parade and flame-lighting ceremony on Thursday – continue today with crown green bowling at Ecclesfield Park and five-a-side football and cricket at the English Institute of Sport in Attercliffe.

And tonight the Star Donor Run at Don Valley Stadium will let everyone race to highlight the importance of organ donation.

Runners can still take part in the 5K or 3K courses of the Star Donor Run.

To enter download a form from www.donorrun.co.uk and register at the event, which starts at 6.30pm in the stadium.

n A swimmer who had a life-saving bone marrow transplant has brought home a haul of golds from the World Transplant Games in South Africa.

Ben Pacey now has five gold medals, one silver and two world records to his name.

The 26-year-old, of Balby, said: “I am really pleased. The British and World Transplant Games are a great way to celebrate life after organ transplants to make people more aware of organ transplantation.”