A retired lecturer and head of department at the University of Ulster has won a Silver medal in Golf at the 8th European Transplant & Dialysis Games in Krakow.
John McAleer is the oldest member of the 34 strong Transplant Team Ireland and took part in the 70+ years category. This was his first time to compete at the biennial European event as a kidney transplant recipient. When the last Games took place two years ago, the Newtownabbey man, competed as a dialysis patient. Just one year ago while out playing his favorite sport on the golf course he received a call for his life changing kidney transplant at the City Hospital Belfast. This long awaited call came after undergoing four years of dialysis treatment.
With stiff competition from the Spanish, Germans and Finns, John was delighted be delighted to secure second place for his nett score at the picturesque Krakow Valley Golf and Country Club located on the outskirts of the Polish city.
John said, ” I was very happy to win the Silver which is thanks to my deceased kidney donor who gave me the gift of extended life. But I was also very happy to be with such a beautiful group of people. Its nice to enjoy the company of people who share a common bond and are either waiting for organs or have already received transplants. Poland is a beautiful place to visit and the Games were well organised and the people are very friendly.”
Before retiring, John who originally hails from Tyrone and was a former student at the Dungannon Academy, held the role of Director of a Vocational Education Centre (R & D) for Dept. Education (NI).
John competed in the European Games in Dublin 2010 and in Zagreb Croatia in 2012 coming home from each events with a medal for Golf.
Accompanying John at the European Championships in Krakow was his wife Bridget and they will return home to Ireland tomorrow (Saturday).