Leamington woman in aiming for World Transplant Games gold

Grace Newman (second from left) with her gold medal at the British Transplant Games, Birmingham.
Grace Newman (second from left) with her gold medal at the British Transplant Games, Birmingham.

Leamington’s Grace Newman will soon go from having had her last kidney transplant four years ago to competing in an international competition.

Grace, 62, will be representing Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Team GB) in table tennis and pétanque at the World Transplant Games in Gateshead from August 17 to 24.

She had her first kidney transplant in 1999 and then a second more recently.

She said: “I have been so lucky to have received a second chance of normal life since my own kidneys failed in 1995, this time a living kidney transplant from my amazing son Adam.

“I am so thankful to Adam and to my first, unknown donor and their family who agreed to donate at such a difficult time.

“The aim of the games is to show the benefits of transplantation, the improvements in fitness and health, as well as promoting organ donation.

“I keep as fit as I can by playing table tennis regularly at the Rugby Table Tennis Club, which I absolutely love, and walking the dog.

“Extra training has been available at the club and also with the World Transplant Games table tennis team.

“I shall be competing in the ladies singles, ladies doubles and mixed doubles table tennis at the games, as well as pétanque singles and doubles.

“Pétanque is a fairly new sport for me, but the friendly Nomades Club de Pétanque have been wonderful, helping guide me to improve my game at the terrain in Kenilworth.”

The World Transplant Games take place every two years and is supported by the International Olympic Committee.

It represents the largest organ donor awareness event in the world, featuring a week of 17 sporting events.

Team GB will join more than 1,000 other transplant athletes and live donors from 60 countries across the globe.

Lynne Holt, team manager for Team GB, said: “We are delighted to be demonstrating the benefits of transplantation with 320 in Team GB.

“We aim to exceed the Gold medals won at the World Transplant Games in Malaga in 2017, and to win the Trophy for the best team.

“They certainly deserve the same recognition as the Olympic and Para Olympic Games.

“It is always a little daunting competing at the World Transplant Games, but with the help of those who have been before, together with the coaches, captains, management and medical team, the experience will ultimately be a rewarding one for the athletes.”

For more information about the World Transplant Games visit http://worldtransplantgames.org/