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World athletes compete in Transplant Games

AAP logoAAP 24/09/2016 Anna Hitchings

Athletes from around the world have descended on western Sydney to compete at this year's 15th Australian Transplant Games.

The week-long event was opened on Sunday morning at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith by MC Senator Derryn Hinch, who had a liver transplant in 2011, and NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner.

"The Australian Transplant Games is a biennial celebration of life and the life-changing gift of organ donation," Ms Skinner said.

Hundreds have gathered at the event, held every two years, to promote organ donation and celebrate the life-saving benefits of transplants.

It also comes after NSW recorded its highest ever number of deceased organ donors at 127, surpassing the previous record of 102 donors in 2013.

Athletes from New Zealand, India, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as from across Australia, will spend the next week competing in 20 sports, including athletics, cycling, golf, squash, tennis, swimming and cricket.

"Many people have been preparing for the games for two years and I am delighted the day has finally arrived for the athletes to get down to business," Ms Skinner said.

The games are being held in western Sydney in the hopes of boosting organ donation awareness and donation rates in more densely multicultural areas.

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