Team Ireland Homeward Bound Following Phenomenal Success at 10th European Transplant & Dialysis Championships in Cagliari, Sardinia

It has been a phenomenal week of triumph for Transplant Team Ireland at the 10th European Transplant & Dialysis Championships in Cagliari as they won a staggering 54 medals including 11 Gold, 20 silver, 23 Bronze. Twenty-three members of Team Ireland competed in intense heat and against strong competition this week on the sun drenched picturesque Italian island of Sardinia but braved through their challenges to victory. Long enduring friendships and memories were made and the positive spirit of the Irish shone through among the 25 participating nations. A sense of gratitude for life abounded with many of the athletes acknowledging their gratitude to their donors.

Team Ireland proved unstoppable at several sporting events including Mini Marathon, Swimming, Golf, Bowling, Pétanque, Darts, Track & Field and many more.

Retired urologist Ron Grainger, aka The Flying Doctor, from Castleknock, Dublin proved to be unbeatable winning Gold medals in three events – the 200m sprint, 100m sprint and the Golf Event for his gross score. Ron said, “I feel blessed to have been able to compete at this level and with this achievement. I think if my donor and how this would not have been possible without them.”

Kieran Murray from Ramelton in Donegal, also was victorious at the track and field events. On the final day of competition, Kieran won a Bronze in the 800m race, the kidney transplant recipients, fourth medal at the Games. During the course of the week-long games Kieran also won a Gold medal for Golf , a Silver in the 1500m sprint and Bronze in the 5km walk.

Kieran said, “I am delighted with my medal and indeed the medal haul I achieved throughout the week. It has without a doubt exceeded my expectations. Being here is a huge honour in itself so to bring home any medal is a success for me. A big thank you to Milford AC for supporting me and putting me through my paces in the lead up to the Games and to my family and friends for all of their support back home. Indeed, I would also like to thank my donor who is always in my thoughts. My main aim at the Games is to promote organ donation and show how it transforms and save lives.”.

Team Ireland Swimmers, Deirdre Faul (Dalkey, Dublin), Shelia Gregan and Orla Hogan Ryan (Nenagh), and Peter Heffernan (Skerries, Dublin) saw huge success in the Pool on Wednesday with each Irish athlete securing a medal. The total medals haul from the swimming event was 3 Gold, 4 Silver and 3 Bronze. Champion Swimmer Deirdre Faul (age 50), a liver transplant recipient from Dublin, kept up her stellar success record scooping three Gold and two Silver medals in her five races at the swimming event.

Deirdre said, “It was a challenging schedule and there was some stiff competition but I am very pleased with how I swam. I want to say a big thank you to Swim Ireland for all of their support this year in helping the team and myself improve times and I look forward to working with them again in preparation for the World Games next year. I also want to thank my donor and donor family for making the decision to donate.”

The entire Team Ireland Golf Team swept the decks winning 3 Gold and 2 Silver medals. Eldest Team Ireland member and eldest overall competitor at this years Championships, John Mc Aleer (from Newtownabbey, Antrim) was one of these successful Golfers, taking the Silver for his net score. A day before the retired university lecturer won a Bronze medal in Petanque event.

Games Veteran Charlie Ryan, a liver transplant recipient from Cobh, Co. Cork retained his decade-long title as European Transplant & Dialysis Champion in Darts, winning Gold. Charlie, a retired skipper, who competed in the 70+ age categorydefended and won his six in a row Champion Darts title having won Gold at every biennial European games since 2008.

Another Team Ireland athlete who also successfully defended a European title was Marie O’Connor (Lahinch, Clare). Marie remained the undefeated European champion in the female golf event securing the Gold in the Golf Gross category. Marie has won Gold in Golf at every World and European Championships since she began competing with Team Ireland with the exception of the World Games when they were held in Argentina which she didn’t attend. Marie also enjoyed success off the golf course by winning a Silver in the 100m sprint, Bronze in the Darts triples event and Bronze in the Petanque Singles event. Marie reflected that her donor is her true “gold prize”.

Team Ireland’s three members which are receiving dialysis and awaiting kidney transplants are newcomer to the team Verina Borrisova(Dublin), Linda Waters (Roscommon) and Chikoyo White (Balbriggan).

Wife to Team Ireland Manager Colin, Chikoyo White won 2 Silver and 1 Bronze medal this week in her Bowling and Pétanque events . At the Closing Ceremony and Gala Dinnner last night in Hotel Setar Chikoyo was awarded highest achievement in the Female Dialysis category, a tremendous achievement for Chikoyo who has been on Dialysis for the Past 17 years.

Chikoyo said, “I was delighted to get this award, it’s been a brilliant week here in Sardinia. I’ve truly enjoyed this week of events, and being here with the team. The Irish team are friendly, warm and always fun to be around.”

Also receiving special mention at the closing ceremony last night were Charlie Ryan and John McAleer, as they were both amongst the eldest participants proving that age is no barrier.

At this ceremony, Team Manager Colin White gave an excellent presentation on the next European Championship which will be held in Dublin in 2020.

On hand to support the team throughout the week were Team Manager Colin White, Team Captain Harry Ward, Doctor Heather Gunning and Chief Executive of the Irish Kidney Association Mark Murphy. At the Team Meeting in Hotel Setar on the penultimate day of competition Colin reflected on the team spirit he witnessed throughout the week at all events, he said, “It’s been a tremendous week. My job has been made easier as our Irish athletes have been on the ball, , ready for their events and also ready to cheer on fellow team members. Each time an Irish athlete was announced for a medal or participating in an event, the screams and whoops of the supporting Irish could be heard above everyone else.

Following the closing ceremony Colin reflected on the week saying, “I’m so proud of Team Ireland for all of their successes but most importantly I am tremendously proud of the team spirit that I have witnessed here. The bonds that have been made here will endure the years. I also would like to give special mention to Team Captain Harry Ward, he has played a blinder, he is so well recognised by everyone and a friend to all. Everyone knows Harry, including not just our team but all the other teams, team managers, local organisers etc. and look to him for support and guidance. Mark Murphy has been a huge support and always on hand to get people where they need to go and deal with any hiccups that arise. Heather, the doctor has ensured everyone remained hydrated, safe from the sun and generally well throughout the week.”

Team Captain Harry Ward, from Baldoyle, also commented on the team spirit that he witnessed amongst Team Ireland, he said, “I am very proud of how the team has gelled this year. Everyone has supported everyone else and the Team has been like one big family. It’s been a truly fantastic week.”

Jamaican Champion sprinter Travane Morrison, who is understood to be one of the fastest 100m sprinters in Ireland, attended the Championships this year with Team Ireland to observe the Irish team for his Masters Research at IT Tralee. At the end of the week, Travane said, “the European Transplant Games is no different from regular sporting events. It is governed by the same rules and the standard is very high despite the health challenges that the athletes have faced. It’s been a really fun week, the team are great people to be around, the way they appreciate life and have fun is inspirational.”

The Irish team of 10 women and 13 men range in age from 31 to 80 and includes kidney, pancreas or liver transplant recipients as well 3 dialysis patients.

A homecoming reception for Transplant Team Ireland will take place at Dublin airport’s arrivals hall (Terminal 1) when the team arrives home on a Eurowings flight from Dusseldorf today Sunday 24th June around 3.15pm.

The Irish Kidney Association 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.

The Irish Kidney Association is the charity organisation which manages Transplant Team Ireland’s participation at British, European and World Transplant Games events.

For more information on the 10th European Transplant & Dialysis Sports Championships and the Irish athletes visit the team blog www.transplantteamireland.wordpress.com or visit the Games website http://www.cagliarietdsc2018.it

The full Irish panel is as follows:-

Antrim: John McAleer, Newtownabbey (kidney) (oldest member of the team)

Cork: Mike Keohane, Roscarbery, Clonakilty (liver); Patrick O’Sullivan, Mallow (kidney) Charlie Ryan, Cobh (liver);

Clare: Marie O’Connor, Lahinch (kidney)

Donegal: Kieran Murray, Ramelton (kidney)

Kerry: Stephen Byrne, Tralee (kidney);

Kildare: James Nolan, Kilcullen (kidney)

Kilkenny / Limerick: Emma O’Sullivan, Glin, Co. Limerick and a native of Kilkenny (kidney)

Meath: Rachel Eagleton, Bettystown (kidney) (youngest member of team)

Roscommon: Linda Waters, Roscommon town (dialysis, pancreas transplant)

Tipperary: Orla Hogan, Nenagh (kidney); and Sheila Gregan, Nenagh (kidney)

Westmeath: Finian Farrell, Mullingar (kidney)

Dublin: Peter Heffernan, Skerries (kidney); Ron Grainger, Castleknock, D.15 (kidney); Paul Prendergast, Santry, D.9 (kidney); Aoife Murray, Clonsilla, D.15 (liver); Harry Ward, TEAM CAPTAIN, Baldoyle, D.13 (kidney); Chikoyo White, Balbriggan (dialysis);

Leonard Ryan, Tallaght, D. 24 (kidney); Verina Borrisova, (newcomer) native of Bulgaria now living in Tallaght, D. 24 (dialysis with pancreas transplant); and Deirdre Faul, Dalkey (liver).

Team Manager: Colin White from Balbriggan, Co. Dublin

Team Doctor: Heather Gunning, Dublin 8

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Transplant Team Ireland end on a high before returning home to Ireland tomorrow

On the final day of competition today at the 10th European Transplant & Dialysis Sports Championships in Cagliari, Transplant Team Ireland ended the week long competitions on a high winning 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze in Track and Field events. Kidney transplant recipient athletes Emma O’Sullivan, James Nolan, Ronald Grainger, Kieran Murray and Pat O’Sullivan and liver transplant recipient Mike Keohanecompeted at the track and field at a number of events including shot putt, ball throw, discuss, 800m sprint, 200m sprint and the 4 x 100m relay.

Kieran Murray, Donegal,  won his Bronze medal in the 800m sprint this morning, this was the fourth medal the kidney transplant recipient has won this week. In addition to his success today earlier in the week Kieran won the Gold in the Golf event, Silver in the 1500m sprint yesterday and Bronze in the 5km mini marathon. Following the 800m sprint Kieran said, “I am delighted with my medal and indeed the medal haul I achieved throughout the week, it has without a doubt exceeded my expectations. Being here is a huge honour in itself so to bring home any medal is a success for me. A big thank you to Milford AC for supporting me and putting me through my paces in the lead up to the Games and to my family and friends for all of their support back home. Indeed, I would also like to thank my donor who is always in my thoughts.”

Kieran also took part in the men’s 4x100m relay today along with fellow Team Ireland athletes James Nolan (Kildare), Pat O’Sullivan (Cork) and Ronald Grainger (Castleknock, Dublin). While the team did not secure a medal, they put in an excellent performance on the track and showed brilliant team spirit, finishing their week on a high.

Following the relay race James Nolan said, “The relay for me is one of the best events of the week. We all compete in our own individual event so being able to go out there and compete as a team is just wonderful. It’s so great to be able to do this.” James also competed in the 200m sprint at the Riccardo Santoru Athletics stadium this morning and the 400m sprint yesterday. He put in speedy times in all races he competed in and said, “I went out and enjoyed my races, I enjoyed every minute. It’s so inspirational to be here amongst these amazing people that show such resilience and determination against adversity.”

Earlier in the day the “flying doctor”, retired urologist Ron Grainger took the Gold at the 200m sprint, competing in the 60-69 age category. This was the third Gold medal Ron has won at this year’s Championship, having secured the Gold in 100m sprint yesterday and a Gross Gold at the golf event on Thursday. Ron said, “I feel blessed to have been able to compete at this level. I’m so happy with this achievement. Following my success this week I think of my donor and how this would not have been possible without them.”

Mike Keohane (Roscarberry, Cork) and Emma O’Sullivan (native of Kilkenny but living in Glin, Limerick) secured a Silver and Bronze in their events respectively. Mike competed in the Javelin and Discus events this morning and was successful in securing a silver medal in the Discus. Mike has had a very impressive week having also won 2 bronze medals yesterday in the Shot Putt and the 5km Power Walk.

Emma O’Sullivan won the Bronze in the 200m sprint event. Emma said “it was a very tough competition so I’m very happy with the bronze medal. I’ve had a great week, the weather is fabulous, the hotel is lovely and of course the sportsmanship amongst the Irish team and all competitors has been very enjoyable. A huge thank you to my family for coming out here to cheer me on, my husband John, Ewan my son, and my parents-in-law, and also to my family at home for their support.”

The Irish team of 23 athletes are all looking forward to attending the Gala Dinner tonight in Hotel Setar in Cagliari where they will celebrate a week of success, fun and friendship.

The Irish team of 10 women and 13 men ranging in age from 31 to 80 and includes 20 athletes who underwent kidney, pancreas or liver transplants as well 3 dialysis patients. The team are competing amongst competitors from 25 nations which for the first time in the Championships history includes Russia and Kazakhstan. The European Transplant & Dialysis Sports Championships are a celebration of life and showcase the value of sport and regular physical activity for people on dialysis and transplant recipients.

The European Transplant & Dialysis Sports Championships are open to all kidney, liver, heart, lung, pancreas, bone marrow transplant recipients as well as dialysis patients. The multi-sport event includes 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. Athletes are divided into six age groups (18-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+). Swimming and track and field bring the sporting specialties total to 39.

A homecoming reception for Transplant Team Ireland will take place at Dublin airport’s arrivals hall (Terminal 1) when the team arrives home on a Eurowings flight from Dusseldorf on Sunday 24th June around 3.15pm

The Irish Kidney Association 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.

The Irish Kidney Association is the charity organisation which manages Transplant Team Ireland’s participation at British, European and World Transplant Games events.

For more information on the 10th European Transplant & Dialysis Sports Championships and the Irish athletes visit the team blog www.transplantteamireland.wordpress.com or visit the Games website http://www.cagliarietdsc2018.it

SPEEDY IRISH WIN BIG ON PENULTIMATE DAY OF COMPETITION AT EUROPEAN TRANSPLANT GAMES IN SARDINIA

Transplant Team Ireland stormed their way to success in track and field events on the penultimate day of competition at the 10th European Transplant & Dialysis Championships in Cagliari, Sardinia. With 25 countries represented at the Games the Irish continued to show their athletics strength under scorching sun at the Riccardo Santoru Athletics Field winning a total of 1 Gold, 3 Silver and 4 Bronze medals today.

Adding to the haul of medals which the 23 strong Irish team has amassed so far at the week-long games, 8 more medals were won  today by kidney transplant recipients Ron Grainger (Dublin), Marie O’Connor (Clare), Pat O’Sullivan (Cork) and Orla Hogan (Tipperary), Kieran Murray (Donegal) and liver transplant recipient Mike Keohane (Cork). James Nolan (Kildare) and Emma O’Sullivan (Kilkenny/Limerick) put in excellent performances on the track narrowly missing out on medals in their respective races.

Ron Grainger from Castleknock, Dublin won a Gold medal for the 100m sprint event in his 60-69 year age category and Marie O’Connor won a Silver medal in her 50-59 age category for the 100m sprint. This came just a day after both of them winning Gold medals in Golf for their gross scores. Ron said after his race today, “I’m absolutely delighted to have been well enough to run here today. It’s been a tough year health-wise so to be well enough to compete and have the opportunity to honour my donor and their family is fantastic. Here I am fifteen years after my transplant and to be able to do these things at this point is truly amazing.”

Kilkenny native Emma O’Sullivan (age 40) who lives in Glin, Co Limerick just missed out on a medal coming fourth in the 100m sprint.

Pat O’Sullivan from Mallow, Cork won a Bronze medal in the 100m sprint event in his 50-59 year age category and later in the day picked up a second Bronze medal in the long jump event. Pat said, “I trained very hard up until Christmas and then I was injured so I haven’t got to do as much training as I would like so I am delighted with Bronze. I thought of my donor at the start line and the finish line. After the sprint I turned my focus to the Long Jump event and was delighted to win a Bronze medal in that event also.  A big thanks to my family for all of their support, and a special thanks to Mallow AC and Mallow GAA for providing facilities for me to train in.”

In addition to her three medals which she won earlier in the week in Darts, Pétanque and Golf, this morning the unstoppable Marie O’Connor from Lahinch, Co Clare sped her way to winning a Silver medal in the 100m sprint event in the 50-59 year age category.  Marie who has undergone two kidney transplants said, “I’m over the moon. Gold went to a lady from the UK and in third place was an Italian athlete. I was thrilled to get the Silver medal as the Italian lady had beaten me last year at the World Championships. My most important accolade is always my donor and this medal is the second prize. A big thank you to the team for their support. It’s great to meet all the other teams again, old friends and new”.

In another sporting discipline also held in the Riccardo Santoru Athletics Field, two of the Irish team won medals in their 3km and 5km Power Walks. Orla Hogan from Nenagh won her third medal, a Silver, at the week-long games today when she surprised herself in coming second in the 3km Power Walk. Earlier in the week Orla won a Bronze in swimming in the 50m freestyle and yesterday won a bronze medal in the 10 pin bowling event.

Also winning a Bronze medal today in his 5km Power Walk event was Mike Keohane, from Roscarbery in Corkwho later in the day went on to win another Bronze in the Shot Putt.

Mike Keohane said after his 5km power walk, “Conditions were very warm. It was a tight race up to the last laps. The Spanish and Polish took Gold and Silver. I was pleased with my performance and I’m glad the training has paid off. A big thank you to my coach Rob Heffernan for his training. It has made a huge difference to my technique and performance. It’s my first competition at the Games so it’s great to get a medal.” Mike later went on to win a bronze in the Shot Putt event and is now preparing for his final two events, Javelin and Discus, which will take place on Saturday.

Orla Hogan said after her 3km power walk, “It was very hot which made it very difficult but I’m delighted to have completed it and getting a Silver medal is a brilliant shock. I’m thrilled to have three medals at this championship as well as having great fun.”

James Nolan, lost out on a medal today in the 400m race, however, the award-winning butcher from Kilcullen, won a Silver medal yesterday in Golf for his net score, he has attended 28 Games including British, German, American, World and European. He said, “I went out and really enjoyed the race today. My number one thought after an event is always my donor, my sister Catherine. I’m so delighted to be here with so many amazing people. The Irish team are incredible. The resistance, acceptance and determination that each and every one of them show against adversity is so inspirational and I’m honoured to be amongst it. My son Andrew graduated from pre-school this week and I was sad to miss it but I was so proud and I’m delighted to be here. Attending the Games is a great motivation to stay fit and healthy.”

Taking part in a longer distance race at the Riccardo Santoru stadium today was Donegal Man Kieran Murray from Ramelton who competed in the 1500m race where he beat stiff competition to win a well-deserved Silver medal. Kieran said, I’m delighted to win Silver in a very tough and tactical 1500m race and Gold was won by a Finnish man. This is the first Silver I have won at the championships so it’s great to have a full set this year having won Gold and Bronze previously this week for Golf and the 5km race.”

At another venue, Joy Village in Cagliari, today some members of the team competed in 10-pin bowling doubles events. While the teams put in great performances, there were no medals secured at this event. Those competing in the Bowling doubles events included Team Captain Harry Ward (Baldoyle) and other Dubliners Paul Prendergast (Santry), Aoife Murray (Clonsilla) and Chikoyo White (Balbriggan) as well as Stephen Byrne (from Tralee) and Finian Farrell (Mullingar).

Stephen Byrne (Tralee, Kerry) who was paired with Dubliner Paul Prendergast said, “there was stiff competition from Greeks and Hungarians that were truly excellent players. I really enjoyed playing with Paul as my partner. He played very well. We worked very well as a team and we were unlucky as we finished fourth narrowly missing out on a bronze.”

The Irish team of 10 women and 13 men ranging in age from 31 to 80 and includes 20 athletes who underwent kidney, pancreas or liver transplants as well 3 dialysis patients. The team are competing amongst competitors from 25 nations which for the first time in the Championships history includes Russia and Kazakhstan. The European Transplant & Dialysis Sports Championships are a celebration of life and showcase the value of sport and regular physical activity for people on dialysis and transplant recipients.

The European Transplant & Dialysis Sports Championships are open to all kidney, liver, heart, lung, pancreas, bone marrow transplant recipients as well as dialysis patients. The multi-sport event includes 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. Athletes are divided into six age groups (18-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+). Swimming and track and field bring the sporting specialties total to 39.

A homecoming reception for Transplant Team Ireland will take place at Dublin airport’s arrivals hall (Terminal 1) when the team arrives home on a Eurowings flight from Dusseldorf on Sunday 24th June around 3.15pm

 

The Irish Kidney Association 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.

The Irish Kidney Association is the charity organisation which manages Transplant Team Ireland’s participation at British, European and World Transplant Games events.

For more information on the 10th European Transplant & Dialysis Sports Championships and the Irish athletes visit the team blog www.transplantteamireland.wordpress.com or visit the Games website http://www.cagliarietdsc2018.it

Team Ireland Bowlers Strike Success

Today at the 10th European Transplant & Dialysis Sports Championships in Cagliari the Irish team has won an impressive tally of 2 Silver and 3 Bronze medals in Bowling.

The winner of the Silver medals in the Bowling Singles Event were Chikoyo White from Balbriggan and Aoife Murray, Clonsilla, Dublin. Chikoyo competed in the dialysis category along with Verina Borissova, from Tallaght, who was placed third and was rewarded with a Bronze medal.  Also winning Bronze medals today at Bowling were two transplant recipients Lenny Ryan, from Tallaght, Dublin and Orla Hogan from Nenagh, Co  Tipperary.

First to compete in Bowling today was kidney transplant recipient Lenny Ryan who took Bronze in the 30-39 years age category. Lenny faced off stiff competition from the Finnish and Great Britain athletes to come in third place and bowled an impressive four strikes in a row on his third round of Bowling. Following his success today Lenny said, “I’m thrilled with this medal. I was delighted to score four strikes and a split. Two Finnish players took Gold and Silver and they were very strong players”. Yesterday Lenny, won Silver in the Petanque event and tomorrow he will compete in Archery, his final event at the Games.

Bulgarian native Verina Borrisova, won the second Bronze for the Irish team at the Bowling singles event in the Female Dialysis category. This is Verina’s first time competing with Transplant Team Ireland where she has enjoyed considerable success. Adding to her Bronze which she won in Bowling today, Verina also won a Gold medal on Monday in the Darts singles event and yesterday she won a Bronze in Petanque.  Verina said, ” I’m having a really nice time here in Cagliari. Team Ireland are very nice and supportive and for me they are the best part of the Games. I have made a lot of friends and I’m getting an opportunity to improve my language skills by speaking to the other teams!”

Dialysis athlete Chikoyo White from Balbriggan won a Silver medal today at Bowlingher third medal at the games having already won a Silver in the Petanque singles and Bronze in Petanque doubles events which were held yesterday (Tuesday).  Chikoyo said, “I’m really enjoying myself here at the games in Sardinia. I’ve enjoyed the bowling today and am delighted to win silver in the event. Overall I’ve enjoyed the day. It was a rough pitch at my Petanque event yesterday but I really enjoyed that also. Aoife was a great partner to play with. The Irish team are enjoyable to be with this year and every year and they really support each other.”

Aoife Murray (Clonsilla, Dublin), a liver transplant recipient, competed in the Bowling this evening and 8pm and was thrilled to secure another Silver medal, she said, “I am absolutely delighted tonight. I really enjoyed the Game and to come away with a silver feels surreal. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my donor giving me the gift of life. Also, a special mention to my mam who has supported me all week and to team Ireland members Finaih, Stephen and the doctor Heather for cheering me on here tonight.”

Kidney transplant recipient Orla Hogan from Nenagh also is competing very well at the Games on the same month of her 10th anniversary of her 4th kidney transplant which she received from her donor brother Cathal. Today Orla won a bronze in Bowling following her winning a Bronze earlier in the week for the 50m freestyle swimming event. Orla’s final event at the games will be the 3km Power walk which will take place on Saturday.

Stephen Byrne from Tralee, Co Kerry competed in the 50-59 year age category in bowling with a fantastic score of 478 but lost out on a hard fought bronze medal. He said, “This is all for my donor. A big thank you to my wife Francisse, my children Jennifer and Ethan and the rest of my extended family for all their support. Of course a huge thank you to the team for their support also.”

Finian Farrell from Mullingar also put in a good performance in Bowling and said he really enjoyed the experience despite not winning a medal today and content with the Silver he won yesterday in the Petanque doubles event with Charlie Ryan.

Paul Prendergast, Dublin, was the final Team Ireland member to compete in the male categories. He put in a great performance against challenging opposition from a number of countries including Greece, Hungary and Italy. Paul will compete tomorrow in the Bowling Doubles Event with fellow Team Ireland athlete Stephen Byrne. 

The Irish team of 10 women and 13 men ranging in age from 31 to 80 and includes 20 athletes who underwent kidney, pancreas or liver transplants as well 3 dialysis patients. The team are competing amongst competitors from 25 nations which for the first time in the Championships history will include Russia and Kazakhstan. The European Transplant & Dialysis Sports Championships are a celebration of life and showcase the value of sport and regular physical activity for people on dialysis and transplant recipients.

A homecoming reception for Transplant Team Ireland will take place at Dublin airport’s arrivals hall (Terminal 1) when the team arrives home on a Eurowings flight from Dusseldorf on Sunday 24th June around 3.15pm

 

The Irish Kidney Association 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.

The Irish Kidney Association is the charity organisation which manages Transplant Team Ireland’s participation at British, European and World Transplant Games events.

For more information on the 10th European Transplant & Dialysis Sports Championships and the Irish athletes visit the team blog www.transplantteamireland.wordpress.com or visit the Games website http://www.cagliarietdsc2018.it