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23rd June, 2013
Niall Quinn motivates Irish Transplant Athletes
ahead of World Transplant Games
The much revered former Ireland international and premiership footballer, Niall Quinn, gave a motivational talk to a group of brave transplant athletes this Sunday (23rd June, 2013) in advance of their departure next month to the 19th World Transplant Games which will be held in Durban, South Africa. Taking time out of his busy schedule, the popular TV pundit and successful entrepreneur spoke to members of Transplant Team Ireland when they gathered for training at the ALSAA sports complex near Dublin airport.
The Irish team of 24 athletes have all received organ transplants including kidney, pancreas, liver, and heart. Seven of the kidney recipients received their transplant from living donors. The Irish team, ranging in age from 12 to 68, will participate in various sporting disciplines at the World Transplant Games which will take place from 28th July – 4th August, 2013. Two of the younger members of the team have just completed their Junior and Leaving Certificate exams.
The Irish soccer legend Niall Quinn who is highly regarded for his charitable work and support of worthy causes said, “it is a great honour to meet such inspirational athletes who have faced huge health battles and now thanks to the gift of organ donation they can share with me their passion for life and its celebration through sport”.
Speaking at ALSAA on Sunday, National Team Manager, Colin White and World Transplant Games Federation Councillor said that “the athletes participation in the Games offered a great opportunity to showcase the success of organ donation and transplantation. Their achievements offer inspiration to others experiencing organ failure and an impetus to the general public to embrace organ donation”.
The World Transplant Games are about celebrating life and the strength and generosity of human spirit.
Enjoying world class infrastructure, fine weather and sunny beaches, the coastal city of Durban will be the first city on the African continent to host the World Transplant Games.
Over 1000 athletes from 50 countries will participate in the World Games. The Games include 50 events including Track & Field, road races, cycling, swimming, golf, tennis, table-tennis, badminton, squash, lawn bowls, volleyball, petanque and Tenpin Bowling.
At the previous World Transplant Games which were held in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2011, the Irish team of 33 athletes who ranged in age from 9 to 70+, secured a world record in one event and picked up a massive haul of 39 medals comprising 13 Gold, 14 Silver and 12 Bronze and were placed 11th overall on the medals table.
The Transplant Team Ireland panel for the 19th World Transplant Games:
Seamus Eager (heart), Kilcoole, Co Wicklow
Tony Gartland (liver), Hacketstown, Co Carlow (Wicklow border)
Vienna White (kidney), Letterkenny, Co Donegal
John Connell (kidney), (living in Capetown, South Africa) from Mullingar, Co. Westmeath
Sheila Gregan (kidney), Nenagh, Co Tipperary
Orla Hogan (kidney), Nenagh, Co Tipperary
Andrew Duncan (kidney), Clonmel, Co Tipperary
Robbie Lyons (kidney), The Swan, via Athy, Co Laois
Sinead McGowan (kidney), (living in China) from Renmore, Galway
Bridie Nicholson (kidney and pancreas), Sligo Town, Sligo
James Nolan (kidney), The Curragh, Co Kildare
Sonia Treacy (kidney), Newbridge, Co Kildare
Catherine Murphy (liver), Aghabullogue, Cork
Charlie Ryan (liver), Cobh, Cork (most senior team member)
Oisin O’Gorman (kidney), Lismore, Waterford (youngest member of team)
Eoin Hurley (kidney), Waterford city, Co Waterford
Deirdre Faul (liver), Dalkey, Co Dublin
James Reynolds (kidney), Tallaght, Dublin 24
Angela Sherlock (kidney), (living in Spain) from Walkinstown, Dublin 12
Dara McLaughlin (kidney), Lucan, Co Dublin
Brian Carney (kidney), Killester, Dublin 5
John Moran (kidney), Glasnevin, Dublin 11
Peter Heffernan (kidney), Skerries, Co. Dublin
Harry Ward (kidney), Baldoyle, Co Dublin (Team Captain)
Sinead O’Regan, Rosscarbery, Co Cork (Team Physio)
Yvonne Ryan, Ballinagarde, Ballyneety, Co Limerick (Team Doctor)
Colin White, Irish Kidney Association, from Balbriggan, Co Dublin (Team Manager)
The Irish Kidney Association is responsible for managing Transplant Team Ireland’s participation at the Games. Individual athletes are currently involved in fundraising activities to offset some of the expenses incurred in travelling to and participating in the Games.
Facebook www.facebook.com/transplantteamireland and follow trends on #wtg2013)
and the World Transplant Games website www.wtg2013.com
For organ donor cards Freetext DONOR to 50050 or contact the Irish Kidney Association on locall 1890 543639 or log on to www.ika.ie . You can now store your donor card details on your smart phone by downloading the free Organ Donor Ecard app.
For further information contact:
Gwen O’Donoghue, Publicity Co-ordinator, Transplant Team Ireland Mob. 086 8241447
Colin White, National Projects Manager (IKA) and Ireland Team Manager, also World Transplant Games Federation Councillor Tel. 01 6205306 Mob. 087 6843644
Harry Ward, Team Captain, Mob. 085 2137512