The World Transplant Games – they’re finally here!

Athletics

It’s the day before my first athletics event at the World Transplant Games, and I’m sitting in my hotel room with a range of emotions. Excited – to get started with the competition. Nervous – I have no idea what my competition will be like, and I’m massively under prepared for my jumping and throws events. Frustrated – the communication and organisation has been pretty poor, and we still don’t have a timetable for the event which starts tomorrow! Concerned – the track is so baked solid that it’s not 100% safe to run on, and we’ve been told there will be no shade on the track (hundreds of transplant athletes will be competing in 35 degree heat). And relieved – to have finally got here in one piece!!

The week so far has flown by, and Team GB have been doing amazing things across all events. Medals in the 5km road race, cycling, kayaking, swimming, bowling, squash….and more! Our hotel is a little out the way, and we’re sharing it with other holiday makers who are enjoying some lively music performances until late into the evening, but the food is good, the rooms are air conditioned and I can see the sea from my room – not too shabby!

Time to rest up, get my kit prepared and game face on!

18th March 2017 – GB Transplant Sport Training Day

Athletics

2017 seems to be galloping along at an alarming speed, and I was hoping to bring along some of that speed to the first GB Transplant Sport training day of 2017! This session was the second of three training days in the run up to the 2017 Malaga World Transplant Games, and as I was still recovering from my ulcerative colitis flare at the first session (which took place in September 2016), I was determined to make up for it and get stuck in at this session.

The training days start with information about the Games including any up to date information team management have about accommodation, event venues and activities.

Following the information there’s the opportunity to go over to the information ‘hub’, where GB members can receive further information on kit, physiotherapy, medical care and the all important sign in. Team members have to attend at least 2 of the three meetings to show they are in good physical shape and have all the information they need to get to Malaga and compete in one piece.

After this is the training, and the athletes make their way over to the University’s athletics track, and home of Coventry Godiva Harriers. GB Transplant multi-sport coach and youth worker Daley Cross led a group warm up before we split into our respective training groups.

After a great sprint training session, I helped the men prepare for the 4 x 100m relay by putting them through some relay drills. They have plans to win gold after being beaten by the Hungarian team last year, and hopefully with perfect baton changes they will be victorious again.

 

 

 

 

My Training Group

Athletics

I get to to train with a fantastic group of athletes, and Team Moore have supported me every step of the way through my Transplant Sport journey…

Lawrence ‘Coach’ Moore

Lover of pharmaceuticals (working for a company that develops and sells them, that is) and a quality glass of wine, Coach Moore started coaching his daughter Mica, and before long a bunch of athletes noticed the great results she was having, and wanted a piece of the action! Always proud of his group, he can often be found with a stop watch in hand and a smile on his face.

Mica ‘Chu’ Moore

Currently embarking on a crash course (sometimes literally) of world class bobsleigh racing, our pocket rocket, and newly crowned World Junior bobsleigh champion has her roots firmly placed in South Wales, and we can’t wait to have her back when the ice season is over. A Welsh national record holder over 4 x 100m, Commonwealth Games representative, GB Junior athlete and Total Wipeout winner, this Disney princess is an awesome training partner to have.

Ashley ‘Smashers’ Jones

Ash’s mentality of ‘just keep going’, is completely infectious, and his progress over the 400m in 2016 was testament to his perseverance over the man-killer event. 5 PBs in 2016 and a return to his junior event of high jumping means that 2017 is set to be an exciting year for our very own Smashers.

Curtis ‘Curt’ Matthews

A 2014 Commonwealth Games top 10 placed decathlete, Curt decided to dabble with rugby for a year in 2015, but his love for athletics proved too strong, and he was back competing for Wales again at the end of the 2016 summer season. Curtis successfully qualified for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and funds his training by exercising dogs with his own company, https://healthhounds.co.uk

Lewis ‘Lew’ Evans

As of January 2017, Lewis joined the rather elite group of Transplant Athletes, after he received a new kidney from his mum. Years of dialysis are (fingers crossed) now a thing of the past, and in his first British Games he won a silver medal in the 100m. He has already run post transplant PBs in the 60m and 100m, and we’re expecting big things from Lew in 2018.