I just wanted to say well done to everyone who competed at the World Transplant Games and a big congratulations to the UK team who topped the medal table by 68 golds! This was my second world games experience, after competing in Australia in 2009. Although the weather wasn’t quite the same, the competition was stronger, and the games were very successful. On a personal note I managed to win a bronze in the squash and retain my gold in the tennis doubles! However I had to pull out of the tennis singles in the semis thanks to a stomach virus 🙁
The World Transplant Games 2011 was held on the 17th to the 25th of June 2011, in Göteborg, Sweden. 54 countries from around the world compete at the games, aiming to encourage people to sign up to the organ donation register, and to show people who are waiting on the list today that there is life after transplantation. The games is also a good opportunity for transplant recipients and donor family, to make friends from across the globe, share stories and to support each other.
On a serious note, everyone who participated in the games is a champion, beating the odds by overcoming a life threatening illness of some sort. I was incredibly lucky to receive a heart, waiting only 3 days on the transplant list, however there are still over 7,500 people in the UK waiting for their life to return to normality. If, like me, you are willing to take an organ if needed then please consider signing up to the organ donation register today. The UK is lucky enough to have some of the best transplant centres in the world, however there is currently a donor shortage, that limits the amount of operations these centres can perform.
The World Transplant Games is a self funded event, however if it wasn’t for a very generous donation from Heart Research UK, and the QE hospital in Birmingham agreeing to pay for my flights, I would not have been able to participate in the games this year. Also thanks to HEAD for donating to me a pair of HEAD Prestige Tennis Rackets, and to Maurice Robinson Sports for stringing them so perfect for me!
The next World Transplant Games are to be held in South Africa in 2013, so I have another two years to train hard and reclaim my tennis medals!