Thirty transplant swimmers will congregate at the London Aquatics Centre for the Transplant Sport Swimming Day on Saturday 23rd September.
Aged 12 to 70 years old from around the UK, they have one thing in common - all have had life-saving organ or bone-marrow transplants.
Many of the swimmers attending the London event recently competed at the World Transplant Games in Malaga where Team GB & NI were hugely successful, coming home with a combined 47 gold, 23 silver, 32 bronze medals and 30 new world records! They will be joined by a few new faces in a training day that hopes to consolidate existing technique and skills and give transplanted swimmers the confidence to go back home and establish themselves as regular swimmers, and to take up a healthy lifestyle which is vital for transplant recipients after their transplant.
The swimming day will involve a 2-hour swimming session in the Olympic-sized 50m pool, coached by Joshua White the Head Coach of Royston Swimming Club and Ben Ryder, assistant Coach at the City of Coventry Swimming Club. The swimmers will then be given a lecture session on nutrition led by kidney transplant recipient and Qualified Personal Trainer, Stephen Venis. Because of Stephen's personal experience, the one-hour session will not only cover basic nutritional needs but will go further to include specific requirements for transplanted athletes, who, depending on the type of transplant, may need to avoid certain foods or limit their fluid intake, for example.
For many transplant recipients meeting regularly with people who have had a similar life-changing experience is essential to build up a peer support network. Many transplant patients have on-going issues after surgery because of taking immunosuppressive medication to prevent their body from rejecting their new organ, so making transplant friends is important, as families and friends can offer advice and support to one another during the tougher times. So the upcoming event in London is really important, as it will give transplant recipients the chance to meet away from the British and World Transplant Games which are only held every one and two years respectively. It is also the first of many future training meets, in preparation for the World Transplant Games 2019, being held in NewcastleGateshead, UK