Today marked Day Two of competition at the World Transplant Games in Newcastle.
Despite harsh winds this morning Transplant Team Ireland’s John Moran from Glasnevin, Dublin sped to victory securing the Gold in the 10km cycling time trial in the 60-69 age category with a time of 18.07 minutes.
John said, “I am delighted and thrilled. The pressure is off now! A big thank you to all of those who have supported me, my wife Angela who has traveled here with me and of course a special thanks to my brother Frank who gave me his “fast” kidney thirty four years ago.” The 61 year old father of four said, “I now look forward to taking part in the 30km road cycle race tomorrow along with John Connell. It will be tough with 17 laps and lots of turns and corners.”
Fellow Transplant Team Ireland member John Connell from Westmeath and living in South Africa, competed in the same category with a smashing time of 21.43 minutes.
Newcomer to the team Mick O’Shea, a heart transplant recipient from Mallow Cork and Galway native Sinead McGowan who now lives in Australia also competed in their respective categories putting in fantastic performances against stiff competition. Mick O’Shea said, “ It was a tough but enjoyable course.It’s amazing to see where I am today versus where I was two years ago prior to transplant and that’s all down to my donor, donor family and all the support I have received from friends and family.”
Sinead McGowan crossed the line in 5th place with a time of 23.44. Just yesterday Sinead was awarded a Silver medal along with two of her kidney transplant recipient teammates, Sheila Gregan from Tipperary and Anna Pojoska who lives in Kerry, for Ireland being placed second in the team event of the same 5km race. Sheila Gregan also won a Bronze medal for her individual performance in the 5km road race yesterday in her 50-59 age category and it was the icing on the cake later in the day when she and her fellow Tipperary teammate Orla Hogan watched Tipperary win the All Ireland hurling final.
Liver transplant recipient Deirdre Faul from Dalkey Dublin squashed competition at the World Transplant Games today. She has achieved an amazing ‘Seven in a Row’ World Transplant Squash Champion title and a Gold medal for winning her squash event the World Transplant Games in Newcastle today.
The mother of two sons has reigned supreme at the biennial games since first winning Gold for Squash at the World Transplant Games in 2007. Today saw her sail through qualifiers to reach the final against a French competitor with a final score of 3 games to nil in a best of five competition. A competitor representing Great Britain/Northern Ireland shared third place with an Argentinian lady. Deirdre said, “I’m delighted. The French competitor was coming back in the third match so I had to stay relaxed and focused. It is amazing to get seven in a row. A big thanks to my coach Frank Donnelly for all his help and to Irish Squash for their support coming up to the Games and of course a very special thanks to my donor and donor family”.
Deirdre (51) is also an accomplished swimmer and will now turn her focus to her competition at the swimming pool on Tuesday and Wednesday. At the previous biennial World Transplant Games in Malaga in 2017 the then 49 year old won 4 Gold medals breaking world transplant time records in both the 400m and 200m freestyle swimming events as well as coming first in the 100m breaststroke before following up with her 6th in a row Gold in Squash.
Transplant Team Ireland members also competed in the Pétanque doubles event this afternoon with Dubliners Paul Prendergast (from Santry) and Harry Ward (Baldoyle) pairing up, and Westmeath man Finian Farrell joining forces with Cork native Charlie Ryan. Charlie one of the more senior members of the team and a liver transplant recipient, won a gold medal yesterday (Sunday) in the Petanque event i the 70-79 year age category. The oldest member of the Team Ireland John McAleer from Newtownabbey, Antrim competed won a Silver medal in Petanque yesterday.
Today Team Ireland’s twelve Golfers are making their way around a golf course in Newcastle with results expected later this evening.
Transplant Team Ireland includes 38 athletes who have each undergone transplants including bone marrow (1), heart (1), liver (4), lung (1) and kidney (31). The team of 29 men and 9 women will return home to Dublin airport terminal one on Saturday, 24th August (Ryanair flight from Newcastle which is expected to land at 12.30pm).
The World Transplant Games will continue throughout the week with athletes competing in their respective age categories in the following events: petanque, badminton, cycling, darts, golf, squash, swimming, table tennis, ten pin bowling, tennis, mini-marathon, and track and field.
For more information on World Transplant Games and the Irish athletes visit the Irish team blog www.transplantteamireland.ie
Visit the Games website www.worldtransplantgames.org
The Irish Kidney Association will host the European Transplant & Dialysis Sports Championships in Dublin next summer (August 2nd-9th 2020) and its primary goal is to promote the importance and success of organ donation for transplantation.
THE FULL IRISH PANEL IS AS FOLLOWS (their individual ‘athlete profiles’ are on the team blog www.transplantteamireland.ie):-
ANTRIM: John McAleer, Newtownabbey (kidney) (oldest member of the team)
CAVAN: Aodhagan Cullen, Cavan (kidney)
CLARE: Marie O’Connor, Lahinch (kidney)
CORK: Mike Keohane, Rosscarbery (liver); Charlie Ryan, Cobh (liver); Michael Kiely, Mitchelstown, on the Limerick border (kidney); Pat O’Sullivan, Mallow (kidney)
Michael O’Shea, Mallow (Heart)
DONEGAL: Kieran Murray, Ramelton (kidney)
GALWAY: Sinead McGowan, Renmore (living in Australia) (kidney)
KERRY: Anna Pokojska,Killarney,via Poland Did the Ring of Kerry Cycle previous day (kidney)
KILDARE: James Nolan, Kilcullen (kidney) International award winning butcher – underwent a living donor kidney transplant 32 years ago (kidney)
KILKENNY VIA LIMERICK: Emma O’Sullivan (kidney)
LIMERICK via UK: Trevor Lynch, Cappamore, (Bone Marrow)
LOUTH: Tommy Marrett, Ardee (kidney)
MAYO via UK: Julie O’Neill, Westport- Award winning businesswoman, underwent living donor transplant from brother 37 years ago (kidney);
MEATH: Tony Gavigan, Navan & native of LONGFORD father of deceased donor (kidney);
Jerome Lyness, Navan,(kidney);
Rachel Eagleton, Bettystown – youngest female on the team (33) (kidney);
Jack O’Brien, Navan, – youngest member of the team (16) (kidney);
MONAGHAN: Tomas Flannery, Tandarageebane (Lung);
TIPPERARY: Orla Hogan, Nenagh (kidney); Sheila Gregan, Nenagh (kidney);
WATERFORD via Dublin: Eoin Hurley (age 25, student at TCD)(kidney)
WESTMEATH: Finian Farrell, Mullingar (kidney);
Noel Marsden, Athlone (kidney)
John Connell, Mullingar, living in South Africa (kidney);
WICKLOW: Garry Campbell, Greystones (kidney);
Philip Kavanagh, Arklow (liver);
DUBLIN: Ron Grainger, Castleknock, D.15 (kidney);
Harry Ward, Team Captain, Baldoyle, D.13 (kidney);
Paul Prendergast, Santry, D.9 (kidney);
Anthony Byrne, Artane (kidney);
Peter Heffernan, Skerries (kidney);
Leonard Ryan, Tallaght (kidney);
Michael Dwyer, Cabinteely (kidney);
Deirdre Faul, Dalkey (liver);
John Moran, Glasnevin, celebrating 34th anniversary of living donor transplant from brother (kidney) .
TEAM MANAGER, Colin White from Balbriggan, Dublin
TEAM DOCTOR Ayanfe Obilana
For organ donor cards Freetext DONOR to 50050 or visit website www.ikw.ie/get-a-donor-card You can also download the IKA’s digital organ donor to your smartphone. Your wishes to be an organ donor can also be included on the new format driving licence which is indicated on the back of the card by Code 115.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Colin White, Team Manager Tel. 353 1 6205306 mob. 353 87 6843644 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gwen O’Donoghue, Media co-ordinator. Mob. 353 86 8241447 Email: email@example.com
Harry Ward, Team Captain mob. 353 85 2137512 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org