Monday 26 August 2019

Balbriggan coach lauds his transplant athletes after Games

Balbriggan Beat

Charlie Ryan meets the Lord Mayor of Newport
Charlie Ryan meets the Lord Mayor of Newport

A Balbriggan coach led his seven adult transplant athletes to victory recently, when his team took home an impressive collection of gold, silver and bronze medals in The British Transplant Games.

Irish transplant athletes, including seven adults and three children showed their mettle with an impressive sweep of 22 medals, including 10 Gold, 9 Silver and 3 Bronze in Newport, Wales over the weekend July 25-28 July, 2019.

Ireland is represented by the Dublin Transplant Children's team and the Dublin Transplant Adults' team, both coming under the banner of Transplant Team Ireland, the sports programme organised by the Irish Kidney Association.

The seven adult members on the team, managed by Balbriggan coach Colin White, will be among the 38 athletes representing Ireland at the World Transplant Games which will be held in Newcastle Gateshead on 17-24 August 2019.

In swimming events, Dubliner Peter Heffernan, a kidney transplant recipient from Skerries, secured three Silver and one Bronze medal in his 60-69 year age category with his Silvers earned for the 100m and 200m freestyle and 50m backstroke events and Bronze for the 50m Freestyle.

Colin White, Manager Dublin Transplant Adults Team Manager and Transplant Team Ireland said: 'The two Irish teams performed fantastically well at the games, and with each of its adults also competing in next month's World Transplant Games in Newcastle, it was a great test event!

'The weather in Newport was fantastic. The opportunity to meet so many other transplant recipients, as well as donor families, was humbling. It was great to have an opportunity to promote the fact that we are hosting the European Transplant & Dialysis Sports Championships in Dublin next year (August 2-9) and we look forward to extending the same warm welcome that we have always received at the British Transplant Games.'

The 'Dublin Transplant Adults Team' included three Corkmen, Mike Keohane and Charlie Ryan (both liver transplant recipients), and kidney transplant recipient Pat O'Sullivan from Mallow.

Trevor Lynch, a bone marrow transplant recipient from Cappamore, Limerick, competed in the 50-59 year age category, bagging three Silver medals for coming 2nd place in the 5km run the 1500m and 800m race, with Westmeath's Noel Marsden from Athlone winning two Silver and two Bronze medals in the 30-39 year age category for 50m Backstroke, 100m breaststroke, 50m Breaststroke and 100m freestyle.

Also putting in a respectable performance in swimming was kidney transplant recipient Orla Hogan from Nenagh, Co Tipperary.

The Irish Kidney Association is working with Children's Liver Disease Ireland and Heart Children Ireland to establish a transplant children's sports programme offering opportunities for transplanted children, and their families to engage in sport and events such as the British Transplant Games.

Fingal Independent