Snooker ace Higgins shows support for Transplant Games

John Higgins is backing the Transplant Games
John Higgins is backing the Transplant Games

Snooker ace John Higgins was in Cumbernauld last week to mark 50 days until the start of the British Transplant Games.

The four-time world champion visited the Red Triangle Snooker Club where he met some of the competitors who will be taking part in July’s event being hosted by North Lanarkshire.

Higgins, who recently lost this year’s World Championship final to Mark Selby, said: “I’m delighted to support the Westfield Health British Transplant Games in North Lanarkshire.

“In some ways snooker is the ideal transplant sport because it offers athletes gentle exercise in a very social environment.

“The athletes and their families will tell you that the Games are an opportunity to get together and share their stories. Where better than around the snooker table?”

John will be representing Scotland with Anthony McGill in the China World Cup from July 2-9.

He added: “The Games are also a fantastic opportunity to encourage people to join the Organ Donor Register.

“Almost 7,000 people in the UK are waiting for an organ donation, so please - join the register and help save a life.”

The snooker event is being sponsored by East Kilbride company DM Integrated (Fire and Security).

The Games will attract more than 770 transplant athletes aged two to over 80 years, along with 2,000 supporters.

Organised on behalf of the charity Transplant Sport, the aim of the Games is to raise awareness of organ donation and increase sign ups to the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR).

In addition, they aim to demonstrate the benefits of transplantation, encouraging transplant patients to regain fitness, while increasing public awareness of the need for more people to sign on the NHS Organ Donor Register and discuss their wishes now with their families.

Held over four days, the Westfield Health British Transplant Games include a range of sporting events and competitions, from fishing through to track and field.

Swimming will take place in Sir Matt Busby Sport Complex with athletics at Wishaw Sports Centre. All the other sports will be delivered throughout key sports hubs. There will be more than 20 sports available.

Jim McCabe, Chair of the 2017 Games, said: “The area has seen a boost to the numbers of people on the Organ Donor Register - with a record 124,559people currently registered in North Lanarkshire.

“Each year sees around 30 people in our area receiving an organ transplant.

“And in the past year 6,000 new people have joined the register, but more still needs to be done.

“There are currently 52 people in North Lanarkshire waiting for a transplant and we really hope that everybody will consider signing up to the register at www.organdonationscotland.org.”

The games have been staged annually since 1978 in a number of host cities including Sheffield, Portsmouth, Newcastle, Cardiff, Birmingham, Liverpool, Belfast, Edinburgh, Leeds, Leicester, London and Coventry.