18th August 2014
By Sarah May
Deirdre Faul is a liver transplant recipient from Dublin and long-time member of Transplant Team Ireland. Deirdre joins team Ireland this week at the 8th European Transplant & Dialysis Games. Deirdre is no stranger to the Transplant Games as this is her fourth time competing at the European Games.
Deirdre competed in the British Transplant Games in Manchester last week, at which she had huge success securing a staggering six gold medals and four trophies. Her trophies included a donor network trophy for best female athlete in her category and a squash super senior’s trophy.
Here at the 8th European Transplant & Dialysis championships in Krakow Deirdre built on this success. She put in an outstanding performance in the swimming events despite very intense competition. She bagged a total of four medals, one silver in the 50m Breast Stroke and three bronze in the 100m Breast Stroke, the 50m Freestyle and the 400m freestyle. Deirdre’s performance was exceptional especially considering swimming is new sport for her. Deirdre was thrilled with the outcome and is already looking ahead to the World Games next year. She said, “Swimming is a new sport for me so I am delighted. The competition was very tough, as was adapting to the swimming pool. This is getting me ready for the world games.”
Deirdre stressed the importance of the Games in promoting organ donation and the health benefits of sport, “the whole point of coming to the games is to show the health benefits of sport and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. The Games promote that organ donation works and is extremely worthwhile.”
Deirdre is an avid sportswoman and a fantastic advocate for organ donation. This year Deirdre celebrated her ten year transplant anniversary by carrying out an event each month to raise awareness for organ donation. Events such as a charity calendar, a facebook campaign and placing donor cards in local chemists. Deirdre believes that, “every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”
The European Championships involve over 500 athletes from 24 European countries. Throughout the Championships which run from 16th – 22nd of August, athletes will compete in badminton, tennis, cycling, darts, golf, petanque, swimming, table tennis, ten pin bowling, tennis, volleyball, mini-marathon, track and field and for the first time this year a biathlon event.
The Irish Kidney Association is responsible for the coordination and organisation of Transplant Team Ireland’s participation in the European Transplant & Dialysis Sports Championships.
For an organ donor card Freetext the word DONOR to 50050 or visit website www.ika.ie It is also possible to download an organ donor card on smartphones by searching for ‘Donor ECard’ at the iphone store or android market place. Your wishes to be an organ donor can also be included on the new format driving licence which is represented by Code 115.