John McAleer – Co Antrim

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John McAleer – Co Antrim

John McAleer from Jordanstown, Newtownabbey, Antrim is the oldest member of the team
and he will be competing in the 70-79 years age category in the following events:
  • Golf
  • Petanque (Singles)
  • Petanque (Doubles)
  • 10 Pin Bowling (Doubles)

John, a kidney transplant recipient, is a retired  lecturer and former head of department at the University of Ulster is an avid and accomplished golfer and will compete in the championships in this his favourite pastime as well as in the Petanque singles and doubles events and 10-pin bowling.

This will be his fourth time to compete at the biennial European event, an second time as a kidney transplant recipient as twice before he competed as a dialysis patient. At the previous European Games in Krakow, Poland in 2014 he won a Silver medal in Golf beating off stiff competition. His first time to be part of Transplant Team Ireland was in 2010 as a dialysis patient when he competed in the European event with Dublin as host city and secured a medal in golf. Two years later he competed in the European Championships in Zagreb, Croatia, once again as a dialysis patient, and once again securing a medal in golf. Just a year after his Croatia success while out playing his favorite sport on a local golf course he received a call for his life changing kidney transplant at the City Hospital Belfast. This long awaited call came after undergoing four years of dialysis treatment.


Before retiring, John  who originally hails from  Tyrone and  was a former student at the Dungannon Academy, held the role of Director of a Vocational Education Centre (R & D) for Dept. Education (NI).


Accompanying John to the European Championships in Vantaa will be his wife Bridget.