World Transplant Games 2017
Paul Meikle recently took part in the 21st World Transplant Games in Malaga in which 1350 competitors from 52 different Countries competed. Team GB & NI had 173 athletes in total and won 166 gold medals, 90 silver medals and 104 bronzes. The swimming team had 46 swimmers and won 67 golds, 23 silvers, 32 bronzes and 30 new world records set by GB & NI swimmers.
Paul competed in the 15-17 age group and won Gold in the 100m Backstroke in a World Record Time, and Gold in the 200m Freestyle, he also took silver in the 50m Backstroke, 100m Freestyle and finally got the Bronze in the 50m Breaststroke.
Paul had a liver transplant at Birmingham Children's Hospital when he was 15 months old. He was encouraged by the staff at BCH to join the team for the British Transplant Games. Paul has participated every year since 2009 and has made a lot of friends on the team. His success in the British games led to his selection for the World Transplant Games. As all the team members have had transplants, they can all support each other and the older team members act as role models for new and /or younger members by demonstrating their love of life. Although families often only see each other at the games. The Birmingham team feels like a family event and the shared experience of having a child with a transplant means friendships are quickly established. The support from BCH and the team managers who give up their time to organise and attend the event is incredible. Similar support and encouragement is given for the World Games and Paul attended both swimming and fitness training sessions before the World Games. Lynne Holt, Team Manager said: “Not only are these athletes ambassadors for our country, but they are also representing the charity, Transplant Sport, and hope to raise awareness here in the UK and globally, of the need for more people to sign on to the Organ Donor Register and discuss their wishes with their family and friends”.
To register on the NHS Organ Donor Register, please telephone 0300 123 23 23, or go to www.organdonation.nhs.uk to register online. Most importantly, please discuss your wishes with your family and friends – thank you.