Balbriggan couple triumph at Euro Transplant Games
Balbriggan has provided both the manager of Team Ireland and the games best female athlete at a triumphant 10th European Transplant & Dialysis Championships in Cagliari,
Colin White from Balbriggan managed the team, while his wife, Chikoyo, managed to net two silver medals and a bronze at the games in Italy where she was crowned the best dialysis athlete at the games.
Twenty three members of Team Ireland, including 10 women and 13 men, who range in age from 31 to 80, competed in intense heat and against strong competition this week on the sun drenched picturesque Italian island of Sardinia. The positive spirit of the Irish shone through among the 25 competing nations.
At the Games athletes acknowledged their gratitude to their donors. The Games are a celebration of life and showcase the value of sport and regular physical activity for people on dialysis and transplant recipients.
Team Ireland put in strong performances at several sporting events including Mini Marathon, Swimming, Golf, Bowling, Pétanque, Darts, Track & Field and many more.
At the closing ceremony Gala dinner Chikoyo White from Balbriggan was awarded with a trophy for being the best athlete in the Female Dialysis category.
Chikoyo, a long term dialysis patient, won two silver medals in Petanque and 10-pin bowling and she also won a bronze medal in the Petanque medals in the the doubles event with teammate, Aoife Murray.
Team Manager, Colin White reflected on the week saying: 'I'm so proud of Team Ireland for all of their successes but most importantly I am tremendously proud of the team spirit that I have witnessed here. The bonds that have been made here will endure the years. I also would like to give special mention to Team Captain Harry Ward, he has played a blinder, he is so well recognised by everyone and a friend to all. Heather Gunning, the team doctor, has ensured everyone remained hydrated, safe from the sun and generally well throughout the week. We can now look forward to Dublin hosting of the next European Games in August 2020.'
Team Ireland Swimmers, Deirdre Faul (Dalkey), Shelia Gregan and Orla Hogan Ryan (both from Nenagh), and veteran of transplant games, Peter Heffernan from Skerries saw huge success in the Pool with each Irish athlete securing medals. The total medals haul from the swimming event was three Gold, four Silver and three Bronze..
Team Captain Harry Ward, from Baldoyle, also commented on the team spirit that he witnessed amongst Team Ireland, he said, "I am very proud of how the team has gelled this year. Everyone has supported everyone else and the Team has been like one big family. It's been a truly fantastic week."