Tuesday, May 15, 2018

James back in competition at Transplant Games next month

Tyrone footballer Pat Canavan and James Nolan.
Carrying on a long tradition, Kilcullen's James Nolan will be taking part in the European Transplant Games, which are being held in Italy next month, writes Brian Byrne.

The 24-strong Team Ireland met up for a motivational talk from Tyrone football legent Peter Canavan last Sunday at the AALSA sports complex at Dublin Airport, in advance of their trip, which begins on 17 June.

The event is the 10th European Transplant & Dialysis Sports Championships, being held in Cagliari, Sardinia

Over 25 countries and 470 participants are expected to participate. Transplant Team Ireland comprises 24 athletes — ten women and 14 men — ranging in age from 31 to 80, and includes five liver transplant recipients, 16 kidney transplant recipients and three dialysis patients

Several members of the team are enjoying the successful longevity of their life saving transplants including James Nolan from Kilcullen whose sister Catherine donated a kidney to him over 30 years ago. The Irish regularly finish in the top five countries on the medals table.

At the previous European Championships, held in Vantaa, Finland, in 2016, the Irish team's final medal tally was a staggering 21 Gold, 19 Silver and 29 Bronze.

The Games are open to all kidney, liver, heart, lung, pancreas, bone marrow transplant recipients as well as dialysis patients. They compete in athletics, badminton, cycling, darts, golf, mini marathon, petanque, swimming, table tennis, tennis, ten pin bowling, virtual triathlon and the hosts have also added archery and surf-casting.

The Irish Kidney Association is the charity organisation which manages Transplant Team Ireland’s participation at British, European and World Transplant Games events, and is looking forward to bringing the biennial European Games back to Ireland in 2020 after it successfully hosted the 6th European Transplant & Dialysis Games in Dublin in 2010 which attracted over 500 participants and supporters from 23 countries.

More information here. Organ Donor Cards can also be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association on 01 6205306 or Free text the word DONOR to 50050.