Kidney transplant recipients Hugo Boyce from Clonmany and Kieran Murray from Ramelton are part of the 34 strong Irish Team, which comprises 25 men and 9 women ranging in age from 16 to 76.
The team includes 29 transplant recipients (5 Liver, 22 Kidney, 1 combined Kidney/Pancreas, 1 Bone Marrow) as well as 5 people who are receiving dialysis treatment.
Team Manager, Colin White, said he has great admiration for the motivation shown by all team members in preparation for the trip to Poland.
“Not only have they been training hard for their respective competitions, they also pay the majority of the costs involved. As well as personal goals, our athletes are very much driven by a passion to showcase the importance and success of organ donation and transplantation.
“We are delighted to welcome two former international sports stars on to our team including former Garryowen, Munster and Ireland rugby player Richard Costello who received a kidney transplant in 2012 as well as Mary Sheehan who in the 1980s represented Ireland for several years in Table-tennis. Another accomplished sportsman joining our team is bone marrow transplant recipient Sean Marshall who, prior to being diagnosed with cancer in 2009, was ranked Ireland’s No.1 Darts ace,” he said.
On Sunday last, members of Transplant Team Ireland attended a motivational talk by Jim Gavin, Dublin Senior Football Manager at ALSAA Sports Complex Dublin Airport.
The 8th European Transplant & Dialysis Games will be held in Krakow, Poland from 16th-23rd August and will involve close to 500 participants from 30 countries throughout Europe. Every athlete at the Games will either have already received a kidney, liver, heart, lung, pancreas or bone marrow transplant or are on dialysis.
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 summer biathlon event.
At the previous European Games which were held in Zagreb, Croatia in 2012, with a smaller team of 26, Ireland was placed in third place on the medals table after France and Slovenia out of 28 participating countries after securing an impressive medals haul of 14 Gold, 15 Silver and 21 Bronze.
The Ramelton man, who is a kidney transplant recipient, won a Bronze in Golf event age category 30-39 years.