Coventry University Volunteers to Support British Transplant Games Athletes

Coventry University will host a dedicated sports therapy centre to support athletes competing in this year’s British Transplant Games as the long-awaited event returns to the city.

The countdown to the games, which occur between 27th and 30th July, officially began at a launch event at Coventry University in December.

Organised by Transplant Sport, the Westfield Health British Transplant Games are 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.

Coventry University plans to open the doors to its Sport & Recreation Centre and The Place to host basketball and football events.

The university will also support the event through its sports therapy centre at the Alison Gingell building on its city centre campus, run by a 30-strong volunteer team of students, lecturers, alumni and other therapists from Coventry.

One of those set to compete is Coventry University first-year sports and exercise science student Hollie Simpson, 20, who received a kidney transplant from her dad in 2008.

As a Level 2 athletics coach, swimming instructor and UKA official in track, the sport has always been hugely important to Hollie, and she’s no stranger to the Transplant Games.

Hollie said: “I’ve been competing since I was six, and I’m 20 now. My first Transplant Games were in Coventry in 2009, and I’ve been to every event since, as well as two World Transplant Games and two European Games. I’ve won more than 60 medals since then.”

“They are fantastic events to go to; they’ve always got a great family atmosphere, the same faces are there each year, and I’ve got friends I see every time I compete.”

“Having the sports therapy team at the games is very important; I know that they helped me in 2016 when I picked up a calf injury and gave me the reassurance that I needed; they were there to speak to you if you were worried about anything.”

“I chose to do my course at Coventry University because they offer you the extra support that not all universities do.”

“I’d encourage families to chat about organ donation; it can change people’s lives.”

Thomas Hames, course director for Sports and Exercise Therapy at Coventry University, who has been involved in the British Transplant Games since 2016, will be among those helping at the sports therapy centre.

Thomas said: “It’s a great event, and athletes represent their hospital trusts or units. Donors and donor families also support the event, and the Transplant Games are all about showing the huge level of respect the athletes have for them.”

“Our sports therapists know what it means for athletes to compete at this event, so they’ll do everything possible to help.”

“In addition to the benefits this has to athletes, for our students, it’s a hands-on practical client-facing-experience, which gives them a great insight into what they can expect to come across during sporting competition.”

Around 2,500 participants are expected at this year’s Westfield Health British Transplant Games. To find out more about the event, visit here.