John McAleer – Co Antrim

John McAleer - Antrim
John McAleer – Antrim
John McAleer from Jordanstown, Newtownabbey, Antrim is the oldest member of the team and this will be his 6th time competing with Team Ireland.  John has turned 80 and will be competing in the 70+ age category in the following events:
  • Pentanque Doubles (partnering Stephen Byrne)
  • Pentanque Singles
  • Golf Team

John received a kidney transplant in 2013 and is a retired lecturer and former head of department at the University of Ulster. Twice before he competed while on dialysis in Dublin (Ireland) and Zagreb (Croatia) and as a transplant recipient he competed in Krakow (Poland) and Vantaa (Finland). These events were European Transplant and Dialysis Games. This will be his second visit to the World Transplant Games. In previous Games, he has won medals and hopes to be successful again.

Just a year after the 2012 European Games in Croatia, he was playing golf on his home course in Belfast when he received a call for his life-changing kidney transplant at the City Hospital Belfast. The gift from a donor and the care and expertise of staff at the City Hospital has made for fuller participation in sporting activities.

John originally hails from Co. Tyrone and was a former student at Saint Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon. He is married to Brigid and they have three adult children.

‘I see the Games as a celebration of the whole tradition, culture and achievement of donor participation.  The Games are another expression of thanks to the generosity of our donors and donors families.’

‘Participation is a great way to keep a routine focus on fitness and wellbeing.  You would be with a friendly, encouraging group with very helpful leaders.  You will get plenty of encouragement and you will be welcome.’

‘Sardinia will be a new place for me to visit and that is always rewarding.  It will be a reward for all the rainy winter days keeping up my step count.  Sunshine and no sunburn.’

‘Thanks to the leaders who do all the organising.  It is a big factor in my participation.’