The 50 players – two of whom are from Leicestershire – taking part in a national tournament at Loughborough Leisure Centre have all had organ transplant operations.
The event is being run to persuade more people to sign up to the national organ donor register.
It comprises teams from hospital transplant centres nationwide – including Leicester General Hospital, where kidney operations are carried out. Nearly 300 people living in Leicestershire waiting for transplants are hoping it will encourage to join the organ donor list.
The driving force behind the Leicester transplant team is its manager Sue Reynolds, 59, from Sileby. She was 54 when she donated a kidney to her teenage daughter, Rachael, five years ago. Rachael was a year old when she caught a virus, which permanently damaged her kidney. By the time she had reached 17, her kidneys were failing and specialist doctors told her she needed a transplant.
A few months later, her mum donated her own kidney, becoming one of the first patients at Leicester General Hospital to have a kidney removed with keyhole surgery. Sue said: "I didn't think twice. It is a wonderful experience. Since then, I have spent my time helping raise money for medical research and to send teams to the annual British Transplant Games. "The games are our way of showing donor families how grateful we all are for their gift of life."
Sue is backing the Mercury campaign to find more donors. She said: "Unless more people do this people, will carrying on dying waiting for transplants." The operation has not been plain sailing for Rachael, who also lives in Sileby.
Her steroid medication destroyed her hips and she has had to have replacement operations. She also had to give up her hairdressing job and has joined the family engineering business in Barrow Upon Soar. Rachael, 25, said: "I am one of the lucky ones. A lot of people don't get the chance of having someone living who can donate. "I have lost a lot of friends over the years who have died waiting for a transplant operation." She is now a regular competitor in national and world transplant games. Earlier this year, she picked up gold, silver and bronze medals golf, doubles badminton and ball throw at the world games on Australia's Gold Coast. She said: "I have been given a new lease of life thanks to my mum."
Spectators will be welcome at the tournament, which runs from 10am-4pm.