A Coventry University graduate who received a life–changing organ transplant is thrilled that the Westfield Health British Transplant Games will be coming to the city in 2023.
The countdown to the 2023 British Transplant Games officially began during a recent launch event held at Coventry University.
The games, originally scheduled to take place in Coventry in 2020 before Covid forced its cancellation, are expected to attract around 2,500 participants this year.
Organised by Transplant Sport, the event is designed to raise awareness of the need for organ donation, encourage transplant recipients to lead active lifestyles and show appreciation for donors and their families. The games will occur in several venues between 27th–30th July 2023.
One of those set to compete is Luke Alexander, 22, who graduated in the summer with a degree in media production from Coventry University.
Luke said: “I received a liver transplant in 2012. I wasn’t physically fit before that; I quickly got tired. Since receiving my transplant, I’ve trekked in the Himalayas, competed at the World Transplant Games in Malaga and Newcastle and several British Transplant Games, and set a cycling time trial world record at the World Transplant Games. None of this would have been possible without my transplant, and it has been life–changing.”
“I’m very excited about competing in Coventry, it’ll be great to show the city the benefits of organ donation, and I think the games will have such a great atmosphere in the city; it’s a place with such an amazing community feel. I had a great time at Coventry University, and I made some great friends and a lot of happy memories here; it’s been a fantastic part of my life.”
Luke added that he plans to compete in swimming and a sprint event when the games come to Coventry in July.
Speaking at the recent launch event, Dr Paul Harden, chair of Transplant Sport, said: “This event is not just about the sport; it’s about supporting those who are going through serious illness and their recovery phase.”
“The games help participants build their self-esteem and normal life. I don’t think we always make the most of peer-to-peer support, but this event brings people together who have had a shared experience and makes a big difference.”
“It was a great game last time we were in Coventry in 2009, and it’s going to be a great event in 2023.”