North Lanarkshire to host 2017 British Transplant Games
North Lanarkshire is to host of a major sporting event which aims to raise awareness of organ donation and the NHS Organ Donor Register.
The British Transplant Games will take place in the area over four days in August 2017.
More than 750 competitors - all of whom have received lifesaving transplants - will take part in about 17 sports.
Athletics will be staged at Wishaw Sports Centre and swimming at the Sir Matt Busby Sports Complex in Bellshill.
The Games are being organised on behalf of the charity Transplant Sport and sponsored by not-for-profit health insurer Westfield Health.
North Lanarkshire Council leader Jim McCabe said it was "a magnificent honour" for the area to host the event, which is expected to attract 1,500 spectators.
"These games are not solely about sport, they have a human side too," he said.
"They demonstrate the courage and personal endeavour of those who take part and the appreciation of the unimaginable pain and courage of the donor families."
The Games encompass a wide age range - from two to 70-years-old.
Some attend with the hope of being selected to compete at the World Transplant Games. Others compete simply for the camaraderie of being with others who are also benefitting from a successful organ donation.
Ian Livingstone, co-chair of British Transplant Games North Lanarkshire 2017, said: "We understand that if it was not for people signing up to the NHS Organ Donor Register there would be no Transplant Games.
"That is one of our many challenges...[to] deliver an array of awareness campaigns, at local level, to educate and raise awareness of what the NHS Organ Donor Register is.
"Through the help and support of professionals, we aim to dispel the many myths of organ donation."
The 2015 British Transplant Games is being staged in Newcastle/Gateshead.