Dublin transplant recipients to take part at World Transplant Games in Perth

by Gazette Reporter
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Three transplant recipients from Dublin are among 14 Irish transplant recipients travelling to Australia next month to represent Ireland at the World Transplant Games (15-21April). 

The Dublin representatives on the Irish panel are Ron Grainger, Castleknock, D 15 (kidney), Finbar O’Regan, Pearse Street, Dublin 2 (Liver)and Nick Heather, Sutton, Dublin, now living in Melbourne, Australia (bone marrow). The Team Manager is Colin White from Balbriggan, Dublin.

This follows a four-year hiatus for the biennial World Transplant Games, as the previous event planned for 2021 had to be cancelled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

 The Irish squad gathered at the ALSAA Sports Complex, Dublin airport last Sunday and were joined by family, friends and other members of the Transplant Team Ireland programme, to receive their official team kit.  The guest speaker at the event organised by the Irish Kidney Association was former Olympian triathlete Gavin Noble, the Olympic Federation of Ireland’s Chef de Mission for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and 2023 European Games.

Ranging in age from 36 right up to 75, the current Transplant Team Ireland panel of 10 inspirational men and 4 women travelling to Perth have all received organ transplants including 2 liver, 2 bone marrow, and 10 kidney. They will be among over 1,200 participants from over 50 countries, all embracing their gift of life and honoring their donors in this celebration of life through sport.

Each of the athletes is funding their participation in the Games (Games registration, flights, accommodation, and meals) through fundraising in the name of the Irish Kidney Association/Transplant Team Ireland, and using their own funds.  The team is proud to wear the Team Kit which, this year, has been sponsored by the Health Services Staffs Credit Union (HSSCU). Its Chief Executive, Sean Hosford, said: “HSSCU are very proud to be involved with the Transplant Team Ireland and provide support. It’s an organisation that is doing brilliant work. Supporting our members and the wider community is an integral part of how HSSCU operates. On a personal level and as a family that have benefited from organ donation, I’m very aware of the life changing benefits afforded transplant recipients by such a wonderful gesture. Everyone involved wishes each of the athletes competing the very best at the games. It’s an honour to be involved in a small way with an Irish team competing internationally. We look forward to following the team closely once the games get started”.

To find out more about the World Transplant Games visit website www.worldtransplantgames.org

and to find out more about members of Transplant Team Ireland and to follow their progress at the Games, you can follow the team blog; www.transplantteamireland.ie

Transplant Team Ireland will fly out to the World Transplant Games in Perth on Thursday, 13th April. As has been experienced for past European and World Transplant Games events, it is expected that the team will receive a warm homecoming welcome by waiting family, friends and supporters, on their return as their Qatar flight is due to arrive at Dublin airport at 1.30pm on Sunday, 23rd April.

PHOTOS – CONOR MCCABE

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