Organ transplant athletes are kept in sporting shape by volunteer therapists

Nearly 1,100 athletes who have received a lifesaving organ transplant, or are donors, took part in the British Transplant Games in Birmingham last week.

Members of the volunteer physiotherapy team at the British Transplant Games

A team of 25 volunteer physiotherapists, students and sports therapists treated a total of 186 people at the athletics event on 5 August alone.

Athletes competed in a variety of sports including volleyball, racquets, bowling, darts, golf, swimming, cycling, five-a-side football and track and field athletics.

The Games - 40 years old this year - are the product of Transplant Sport, a national charity that promotes active recovery for transplant recipients.

The Games aim to demonstrate the benefits of transplantation, encouraging transplant patients to regain fitness, whilst increasing public awareness of the need for more people to join the NHS Organ Donation Register and discuss their wishes with their families.

The therapy team at work at the Alexander Stadium for the athletics on 5 August

The physio team were visited by the government’s minister responsible for organ donation, Jackie Doyle-Price, who is working towards the introduction of an  opt-out donation bill.

For the first time the team used electronic notes – provided free by Private Practice Software.

‘Everyone embraced this difficult transition with great enthusiasm and commitment,’ said physio team lead Alison Bloxham.

Next year the British Games will take place in Newport, Wales, from 25-28 July and the World Transplant Games in Newcastle and Gateshead from 17-24 August.

Ms Bloxham will be recruiting teams of therapists from south Wales and the north east for those events. Enquries should be emailed to

At the opening ceremony a Guinness world record was set for the number of transplantees in one place - 723



Number of subscribers: 1

Log in to comment and read comments that have been added