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  1. ITV Report

World Transplant Games get underway with celebration parade in Newcastle

Competitors from across the globe - who have benefited from organ donation - have paraded through the streets of Newcastle ahead of the opening ceremony of the World Transplant Games on Saturday night.

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More than 2,000 athletes are expected to compete in the games over the next week.

It is 24 years since the UK last hosted the games.

Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Overnight on Saturday, a number of landmarks across Sunderland were lit up in support of the games.

Credit: Sunderland City Council

Penshaw Monument was one of the landmarks emboldened in the colours of the World Transplant Games.

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While NewcastleGateshead is the main centre for competitions, Sunderland is hosting three of the 16 sports - swimming at Sunderland Aquatic Centre, cycling at Hetton Lyons Country Park and ten pin bowling at Hollywood Bowling Washington.

Credit: Sunderland City Council

We're delighted to be able to show our support for the World Transplant Games and organ donations by lighting up key landmarks.

The games are about raising awareness of organ donation and encouraging more people to sign up as organ donors, so anything that helps spread the word about this very important cause has to be a good thing.

They're also about celebrating a second chance of living life to the full, human courage and physical fitness. And each and every one of the inspiring athletes taking part will have their own amazing life stories to tell, so I think this is also a fitting opportunity to honour them and their achievements."

– Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland City Council's Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture

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