Belper’s Transplant Games star set for world stage

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A Belper sporting hero has been selected once again to represent Team GB at the World Transplant Games in Spain later this month.

Simon Elmore, who has already achieved an incredible haul of medals at previous games, will be flying out to Malaga for the competition, June 25 to July 2.

It will be latest step in Simon’s incredible fightback to full health after a long-term illness which led to a kidney transplant two years ago.

Simon, 42, said: “The World Transplant Games was and is my goal - to show what can be achieved after the most amazing gift of organ donation.

“Staying fit and healthy—plus the support and patience from my family—is what gives me the determination to live.”

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

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

The Great Britain and Northern Ireland team will be the largest ever, comprising more than 200 athletes, including 20 juniors, and ten living organ donors.

All athletes have survived either a heart, lung, kidney, pancreas, liver, small bowel or bone marrow transplant.

Father-of-four Simon was struck down with kidney failure aged just 33, and he endured years of serious health problems.

At last year’s British Transplant Games he won gold in archery and bowling, silver in volleyball, and a football bronze.

Team manager Lynne Holt said: “We aim to exceed the 127 gold medals won at the World Transplant Games in 2015, and to bring home the grophy for the best team.

“These athletes certainly deserve the same recognition as the recent Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

She added: “In spite of the constant training, fitting in work, school, exams, publicity and hospital clinic appointments, these athletes receive no government support, and have to fund themselves.

“Sadly, many could not accept their place on the team, because of the heavy financial burden. The team are supported by management, coaches, captains and a medical/physio team, all who are volunteers and are also self-financing.”

Simon has managed to land a sponsorship deal from national sporting charity the Premier Foundation.

He said: “I am very grateful to the foundation for their support and giving me the opportunity to represent them as an ambassador to inspire children of all ages through sport, health and a positive mind.”

Lynn added: “For all our athletes, the opportunity to represent theircountry, celebrate life and in doing so, paying tribute to their donors who gave them life, is the goal.

“Not only are these athletes ambassadors for our country, but they are also representing the charity, Transplant Sport, and 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.”