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 Bowling, her 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