Transplant Team GB is one of the largest teams that will be competing at the World Transplant
Games in Malaga. The team, which will be the largest ever sent from the UK, comprises 200 transplant athletes, including 20 juniors, 10 live donors, and 200+ supporters, these athletes, have all survived either a heart, lung, kidney, pancreas, liver, small bowel or bone marrow transplant.
One of these is London athlete Simon Randerson from Greenwich and supported by the GLL Sport Foundation and Greenwich Starting Blocks. Simon had a liver transplant at Kings College Hospital 15 years ago. Simon says; ‘I am so pleased to be representing my country again at these incredible games. The games in Malaga will be my sixth World Games. It is almost impossible to imagine 15 years ago when I had my liver transplant at the age of 45 that I would still be swimming and competing at the age of 60. Each athlete competes against others in their age group, this year I will be a “young” 60 in the 60-69 age group, so I have been training hard to get more gold medals. As always, I will be competing to raise awareness of the need for Organ Donation and in memory of my donor.’
The World Transplant Games, take place every 2 years, and are supported by the International Olympic Committee. It represents the largest organ donor awareness event in the world, featuring a week of 17 sporting events. Team Great Britain will join 1000 other transplant athletes from 60 countries across the globe.
Lynne Holt, Team Manager said: “We aim to exceed the 127 Gold medals won at the World Transplant Games in 2015, and to bring home the Trophy for the best team! These athletes certainly deserve the same recognition as the Olympic and Para Olympic athletes. Despite the constant training, fitting in work, school, exams, publicity and hospital clinic appointments, these athletes receive no government support, and have to raise the £2000+ themselves. Sadly, many could not accept their place on the team, because of the heavy financial burden. The team are supported by management, coaches, captains and a medical/physio team, all who are volunteers and are also self-financing. However, their motivation to be ‘Fit for Life’, the opportunity to represent their country, celebrate life and in doing so, paying tribute to their donors who gave them life, is the goal. The experience will ultimately be a rewarding one for the athletes, the supporters and the management team!”
Lynne added: “Not only are these athletes ambassadors for our country, but they are also representing the charity, Transplant Sport, and hope to raise awareness here in the UK and globally, of the need for more people to sign on to the Organ Donor Register and discuss their wishes with their family and friends”.
We wish Simon the best of luck out at the World Transplant Games – bring back some medals!
Please support Simon at the World Transplant Games in Malaga 2017
If you believe in organ donation, do something about it now. Register at www.organdonation.nhs.uk