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Success from Great Britain and Northern Island in World Transplant Games

Friday 7 July 2017

Back in April we heard from Simon as he was about to embark upon his latest attempt at a gold medal in the World Transplant Games. We find out how Great Britain and Northern Ireland got on.

Simon won a bronze, silver and gold medal at this year’s World Transplant Games in Malaga

When Simon contributed to our Personal Experience Blogs back in April he explained how having a liver transplant led him to enter the Transplant Games. As a novice to competition swimming he came across some obstacles with his goggles filling up with water and his trunks coming halfway down his bum due to the force of a dive, but he persevered. When we spoke to Simon back in April he was about to represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the World Transplant Games.

The World Transplant Games Federation has been staging international sporting events and promoting education about transplantation in order to promote the physical success of transplant surgery and the need to raise public awareness and increase organ donation. Through their various initiatives they aim to highlight the importance of physical activity and healthy lifestyle in the long term management and wellbeing of transplant recipients.

One of the ways they achieve these objectives is through the hosting of The Summer and Winter World Transplant Games. This year’s Summer World Transplant Games took place in sunny Malaga, Spain at the end of June. There was some tough competition from other countries but Great Britain and Northern Ireland were the clear winners, with 221 medals more than the next runner up, the United States of America.

Simon contributed a Gold medal in 50 metre backstroke, a Silver in 100 metre and a Bronze in 200 metre free to the impressive medal collection.

We caught up with Simon to find out how this year’s competition went:

“Once again it was a great honour to represent my country at the 21st World Transplant Games.”

“The GB swimming team was big, with more than 50 swimmers. Amazing considering as a team we get no government or other funding.

“But the competition was strong. Probably the strongest it had been in recent years. Some other teams even get financial incentives from their governments for medal positions.

“But for me, the competition is about taking part to show how successful organ donation is, and to pay tribute to my donor and all the donor families who, at that most difficult time, when they have just lost a loved one, choose to help another person and donate their loved one’s organs.

“Now back home, my next challenge is to train up for the London Serpentine 1 mile swim in September.”

To find out more about Organ Donation or to add your name to the register click here: www.organdonation.nhs.uk.

Read Simon’s blog ‘Experience only comes with time and practice, trying things out and failing sometimes

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