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World Transplant Games comes to Northumbria

This summer over 2,500 athletes from 70 different countries, along with their families and supporters, will descend on Northumbria’s world-class £30m Sport Central for the grand Opening Ceremony of the World Transplant Games

Staged by the World Transplant Games Federation and organised by NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI), the World Transplant Games celebrate a second chance of living, showcase the success of transplant surgery and highlight the importance of signing up to the Organ Donor Register. Northumbria University is proud to be one of the key delivery partners, helping to deliver the international sporting event. 

On the first day of the Games, athletes who have all had transplant surgery or are living donors, will parade through Newcastle City Centre before arriving at Northumbria’s 3,000 seat sports arena where they’ll enjoy the opening celebrations. The special event will mark the official start of seven action packed days of World Transplant Games fixtures across the North East – including badminton and table tennis fixtures which will also be held at Northumbria.

Aside from hosting the official opening ceremony and some of the sporting fixtures, some of Northumbria’s students are also volunteering their time to help at the Games – including fifteen physiotherapy students who will provide support across the sporting events.

Northumbria University has played a significant role in introducing heart and lung transplant surgery to the Southern Asian region in recent years. Until a few years ago, no heart or lung transplants had ever taken place in Sri Lanka or India. While the UK and other westernised countries have a vibrant transplant programme, anyone needing this life-saving surgery in Sri Lanka or India would have to travel abroad and pay prohibitively high costs. Through the work of Stephen Clark, a Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Cardiopulmonary Transplantation in Northumbria’s Department of Applied Sciences and Consultant Cardiac & Transplant Surgeon at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital, teams of surgeons in Southern Asia are now being mentored to undertake the first surgeries in these countries. Professor Clark previously led the cardiopulmonary transplantation team at The Freeman Hospital and alongside his role at Northumbria is now establishing transplant units in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, as well as India and Sri Lanka.



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