THE BRITISH Transplant Games is returning to the North-East, it has been announced.

Hundreds of competitors who have had life saving organ transplant surgery and donor families will descend on Newcastle and Gateshead for the four-day event from July 30 to August 2, 2015.

The 2015 Westfield Health British Transplant Games will include a range of sports, such as swimming, golf, archery, table tennis, five-a- side football and track and field at Gateshead International Stadium and various venues across the region.

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A Donor Run, open to the public, will take also take place along the NewcastleGateshead Quayside.

Founded in 1978, the Transplant Games encourages patients to regain fitness, demonstrate the benefits of transplantation and promote awareness of the need for more organ donation.

The world-renowned Institute of Transplantation at The Freeman Hospital and the Royal Victoria Infirmary perform hundreds of transplants a year. The Freeman Hospital made medical history in 1987 with the youngest successful heart transplant patient, Kaylee Davidson.

Gateshead City Council’s cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure, Peter Mole said: “The athletes competing have had life changing experiences and are a true inspiration to us all. We would encourage everyone to come along to the games and show their support for all these amazing competitors”.

Newcastle City Council’s cabinet member for communities and neighbourhoods, Hazel Stephenson, said " It will be a fantastic event for the profile of the city who I know will come together to help raise awareness of organ donation.”

Sarah Stewart, chief executive at destination management and marketing organisation NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “The destination is renowned not just for hosting first-class sporting and cultural events, but our universities and hospitals are true pioneers in transplant surgery – so it’s extremely fitting that the games will take place at Gateshead International Stadium and other venues across the North-East.”