British Transplant Games 2017

The British Transplant Games 2017 was held in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, attended by over 140 competitors this year - another record. Once again Kath Fitzpatrick was the sport manager, for the sixth year, the event having grown from 40 to 140+ participants.

The multi sport games is organised annually by MLS, a Sheffield based company, and sponsored by Westfield health. The aim of the event is to celebrate the successes of transplant teams around the country and the lives they save, as well as honouring those who gave their organs by being transplant donors.

Each transplant coordinator manages a team from their hospital competing for the final trophies across all of the sports on offer. Medallists are awarded points for their achievement which add up over the week to determine the overall winner.

Competitors are divided into experienced or regular archers and those who are beginners - they may never have shot before or just competed in a previous year. All equipment is sourced from clubs and archery dealers, with Custom Built Archery sponsoring target faces for the second year. All volunteers are unpaid, and often travelling some distance - as well as many Scottish coaches there were four from Yorkshire and six from Nottinghamshire.

Despite the poor weather forecast, most of the day was fine and even sunny in the afternoon - sunburnt in Scotland!

The experienced archers competed first, with 36 entries over 8 different classes organised by gender and age group, from 15 to 70. Some were extremely closely contested, as with the mens 30-39 age group where just two points separated the first three for the medals.

When it was the beginners turn, each coach had a group of 3-4 archers to equip, teach and assist in competing - shooting is at 10 metres at an 80cm face. All the competitors are out to have a good time, and the coaches and judges made sure that they not only had fun but successful archery experiences too. Many asked about clubs they could join as they had enjoyed it so much!

A massive thank you to all the volunteers, organisers, sponsors and Scottish Archery who promoted the event and assisted with recruitment.

Next year the games will be in Birmingham - the volunteer coach and judge list is already open! This is such an inspirational event and a great way to introduce some very deserving people to our sport. Anyone wishing to volunteer for 2018 please contact:

Kath Fitzpatrick
Archery Sport Manager, British Transplant Games

Eventual medal winners battling it out in the Experienced men 30-39 category - gold medal went by 1 point to Robert Morris (left) from Warwickshire team from Sam Newton (right) from Addenbrookes who is also a well known archer in Lincolnshire

Volunteer Coach and quickly-designated Lady P Vici Royle presenting medals:

Robert Morris receiving his gold medal:

A delighted Martin Strang - Scottish archer who also helped source all the bosses for us - and promoted the event - receiving his gold medal for the 40-49 group at his first Transplant Games:

The Lady Provost, Jean Jones, visited the event - so she had to have a go, ably taught by Charlotte Attwood from Nottinghamshire. Jean went on to act as Lady P for several of the beginners awards:

Coaches in action with the beginners groups:

Our two judges Andrew and Rod doing a great job all day:

Senior Coach Bill McKay - this is an arrow - it's a 9! Explaining the line cutter rule:

General views of the field:

Three happy competitors and medal winners:

The 24 volunteer coaches, 2 judges, 2 of the 6 non-sport volunteers and 1 tired but happy sport manager who all worked hard and made the day happen! Thanks to all!

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