St George’s at the Transplant Games 2018 & 2019

February 17 2019
2018 was a great year for the St George’s Transplant Sport team.

Three team members, all of whom had kidney transplants at St George’s, took part in the annual British Transplant Games, last year held in August in Birmingham on the scenic university campus.

Why not join fellow competitors at the 42nd British Transplant Games which will be held in the Newport, South Wales from July 25 to July 28, 2019.

The 2018 games took place over a long weekend starting Thursday 2nd August, with an opening celebration at the Birmingham Symphony Hall that evening. The St George’s team started their events the following day.

Debbie was first from the St George’s team to compete, taking part in the tennis competition and winning a silver medal for the hospital’s team. Debbie received her kidney in December 2009, and by the summer of 2010 was participating in her first British Games; she found she loved the camaraderie of the games and has entered them every year.

By Saturday, all three team members were involved in competitions. It was the first time Karen had participated in the games, and she did St George’s proud by winning a gold medal in 10 pin bowling.

Karen reported that her fantastic achievement was mentioned at her work monthly meeting. All of her colleagues gave her a round of applause and were excited to see her medal.

Karen Barrett with her gold medal for 10 pin Bowling

 

Liz competed for St George’s in the doubles Badminton tournament. She was unfortunately unable to use her right hand due to an injury, but never to be deterred, she showed her commitment to the games instead playing with her left hand. Liz, with her partner Juliet, went on to win a silver medal.

Liz received her kidney from her mother in 1990, and has competed in every British Transplant Games and World Transplant Games since 1993. Liz is a formidable athlete, winning well over 100 medals in the Games.

 

Also on Saturday afternoon, Debbie was at the pool competing in four separate swimming races covering different distances in breast stroke, freestyle and butterfly. There was a great atmosphere by the fabulous 50m pool on campus, which spurred Debbie on to win a silver and two bronze medals in her events.

 

One of the highlights of the British Games is the Donor Run, which took place on the Saturday evening.

As well as being a racing event for the athletes, it is an opportunity for the whole community to celebrate the donors and their families who have generously donated their own organs or those of their loved ones, and in so doing have transformed the lives of thousands of people in desperate need of a life-saving transplant.

What better way to demonstrate the health benefits of those receiving transplants than through running or walking on a beautiful summer evening in the leafy university campus with music, food and drink at the finish line!

 

Sunday is the last day of the British Transplant Games with athletics taking place at the track, where an exciting and supportive atmosphere is guaranteed.

Liz was cheered on in her field events and, even using her left hand, succeeded in winning a bronze medal for both of her javelin and discus events. Liz has certainly proved herself to be an adaptable and exceptional competitor.

 

The Birmingham games was hugely enjoyable and a great success. It was an opportunity to not only participate in the sporting events, but to meet old friends, make new ones, and to reunite with the Transplant Sport ‘family’.

In addition to the annual British Transplant Games, Transplant Sport UK organises many other sporting events throughout the year. One of these events is the annual Racquets Tournament, which this year was held in December in Abingdon.

Two members of the St George’s team entered this event: Lenka and Debbie.

This year’s event, held in mid-December, had a lovely festive feel to it with a raffle, cake stall and hot drinks to provide for competitors and spectators between events. There were tournaments for various different types of racquet sports, including squash, badminton, table tennis and tennis.

Lenka was new to the St George’s Transplant Sports team, and was eager to participate in an event. A keen badminton player, Lenka partnered with an athlete from another transplant unit to form a doubles pair. They put on a fantastic performance and won gold!

Debbie entered the women’s singles tennis tournament, which took place in a round robin format. She was delighted to take home a bronze medal for this event.

Lenka with her gold medal for women's badminton doubles Lenka and Debbie from the St George's Team at the 2019 Racquets Tournament

All four of the St George’s team, Liz, Karen, Lenka and Debbie, who participated in Transplant Sports events in 2018, have been lucky enough to be selected for the World Transplant Games which takes place this summer, 17-24 August 2019, in Newcastle upon Tyne.

http://worldtransplantgames.org/

The competitors are excited and honoured to be representing Great Britain and Northern Ireland in these games, which promise to rival Birmingham’s events in both sporting achievement and positive atmosphere.

If you would like to join the St George’s team in the transplant games in Newport South Wales from July 25 to July 28, 2019, or to find out more, please visit the British Transplant Games website: http://www.britishtransplantgames.co.uk/

Everyone is welcome, regardless of age or ability and we would love you to join us!

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