More than 600 recipients of organ donation are expected to take part in the British Transplant Games which begin tomorrow.

The competition one of the largest annual multi-sport events in the UK and will be held in Gillingham, Kent.

The Westfield Health British Transplant Games (BTG), which will run until Sunday, is organised on behalf of the charity Transplant Sport UK.

The 2012 games will take place at Medway Park, with sporting events also taking place across Medway and north Kent, including athletics, swimming, rackets, golf and volleyball, a Medway Council spokesman said.

The aim of the games, which have been staged since 1978, is to encourage transplant patients to regain fitness and to increase public awareness of the value of organ donation.

Paul German, a transplant patient and chairman of the local sub group for the Medway Games, said: "Like me, all of the competitors taking part have received a life-saving transplant and for them the games are not only a celebration of life, but also a way of saying thank you to the donor families for their generosity.

"Although exciting to watch, all of the athletes compete in a spirit of shared experience, never forgetting that one of the main aims of the BTG is to encourage more people to carry the card and sign up to the organ donor register."

Councillor Howard Doe, portfolio holder for community services at Medway Council, said: "With the Olympics and the Paralympics in London, this is certainly an exciting year for sport and for Medway."