British Transplant Games Success

Last weekend, a team from Nottingham Children’s Hospital took part in the British Transplant Games, winning a grand total of fifteen medals.

Anyone that has had an organ, stem cell or bone marrow transplant is welcome to take part in the Games, and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) sends a youth team yearly to compete, socialise, and meet children who have had a similar experience.

The team, nicknamed the Kinder Crew (which stands for Kids in Nottingham, Development, Education and Research), spent last weekend away from home taking part in sport and social events. Over 20 children, along with their family members, staff members and volunteers made the journey to Newport, Wales, where the event took place from 25-28 July.

The Kinder Crew is made up of more than 20 children, who competed in a range of sports such as athletics, basketball, cycling, football, golf, snooker, swimming, tennis, volleyball and The Donor Run, an inclusive event open to the public.

During a successful weekend for the group, Polly Andraisey-Escritt, took home the prize of Best Competitor in the 9-11 year category.

Kim Helm, Paediatric Transplant Clinical Nurse Specialist, has been involved with taking NUH’s patients to the Games for more than seven years and was on hand to supervise during the event.

Kim, who works in the renal ward at Nottingham’s Children’s Hospital was also named Nurse of the Year at 2015’s Nurse and Midwife of the Year Awards after amassing the most votes that year.

Kim said of last weekend’s event: “It’s not just about the medals, it’s about taking part. The team were amazing, even against some tough competition.”

“We had a full team for the swimming relay for the first time – and for one participant it was even their first time swimming. It was also the first time the Kinder Crew had a full team for the 100m relay; Charlie, Ismaeel, Harry and Amy did really well. The whole team did really well.”

Kim added: “The parents were saying that it’s all about the friendships - they all got on and made some great memories. I’m so proud of them.”

The Games, a flagship project of the charity Transplant Sport, are a sport and cultural event for transplant recipients and their families.

With more than 1000 competitors taking part in 23 different sports and events, the Games took place in various venues across Newport and were a celebration sport and life, with over 2,500 people in attendance.

Dr Martin Christian, a Nephrologist Consultant at NUH, who was also at the event, said: “It’s not just about winning the medals; it’s about developing strong relationships across peer groups. There’s a big sense of team spirit amongst all the competitors.”

The Kinder Care team were able to attend this year’s Games thanks to a combination of fundraising and a kind donation from Kidney Care UK.

Paul Bristow, Acting Chief Executive of Kidney Care UK said: “The Games in Newport were incredible. It was inspiring to see so many competitors from hospitals across the UK take part and we had a wonderful time catching up with the children at Nottingham. Congratulations to the whole team, you made us all so proud.”

Some of the competitors that took part in the Games will go on to represent the UK at the World Transplant Games, which are held between 17-23 August in Gateshead. 

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH), in partnership with the Nottingham Post and Nottingham Express Transit (NET) is urging the public to celebrate and reward the outstanding nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants from Nottingham’s hospitals who have gone the extra mile with care for patients and their families.

If you’d like to nominate a nurse from Nottingham’s hospitals that goes the extra mile for our younger patients, you can do so here.