By Sarah May,
Sheila Gregan from Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, a kidney transplant recipient took Gold in the Virtual Triathlon. A keen sports woman, Sheila is a member of the Nenagh Triathlon Club and only last week she swam across Dublin Bay to raise Organ Donor Awareness with her fellow team Ireland members Peter Heffernan, Orla Hogan and team manager Colin White. Sheila spoke of the swim saying. “The whole experience was fantastic the only problem was the jellyfish.”
Sheila achieved impressive times in the 5km road race, the 20km cycle and the 500m freestyle swim all of which were combined to give her the gold in the virtual triathlon. Sheila took bronze in the 500m freestyle with a speedy time of 9 minutes and 6 seconds. Sheila said that “competition is very tough but I’m really enjoying the experience.” Sheila was overwhelmed receiving her gold medal, she spoke of the Irish teams support. “Their a great bunch” she said.
Sheila regularly competes in triathlons. On the 29th of June she took part in the prestigious Hell To West triathlon in Kilkee. This was Sheila’s first olympic sized triathlon during which she impressively completed a 1500metre swim, 44km cycle and 10km run all in a speedy time of 3 hours and 48minutes. The winner of this triathlon was Olympic triathlete Gavin Noble. Sheila is a member of the Nenagh triathlon Club and she stated that “they’re brilliant, very supportive and very inclusive.”
Following her success Sheila reflected on the gift of life she has been given from her donor, she said “At the end of the day it’s all down to my donor and their decision to donate. I find it hard to articulate in words my thanks to the donor family, so this is how I show my gratitude, through sport.” Sheila is undoubtedly doing this as an avid swimmer and triathlete she pays tribute to her donor and honours the gift of life. Fellow Team member Orla Hogan takes credit for encouraging Sheila to join Team Ireland. Sheila said for that she is very thankful to Orla.
Sheila’s received great support from home; from her family, friends, wider community and work colleagues. Although Sheila is thoroughly enjoying her Games experience she is looking forward to getting home on Tuesday evening to see her family and friends.
Sheila shall appear on TV3 Ireland AM at 8:15 on Tuesday morning the 6 of August, along with fellow team member Laois man Robbie Lyons.