Inspiring Cambs Badminton player John Tibbutt, who has overcome ill health through a successful organ transplant has returned victorious from competing in this year’s World Transplant Games in Durban, South Africa.
John took part in the Games nearly 4 years after having a life-saving kidney transplant.
The 36-year-old, who is currently the Cambs senior IIIrd team captain, competed as a member of Great Britain and Northern Ireland team at the Games, from 28 July to 4 August 2013, competing in badminton and squash. He secured an incredible four-medal haul, securing gold medals in badminton in singles, doubles and mixed, and a bronze in squash.
Great Britain and Northern Ireland took home 243 medals in total, 114 gold, 74 silver and 55 bronze. The team was also presented with the ‘Best Team Award’. Lynne Holt, Team Manager and Trustee at Transplant Sport said:
“The World Transplant Games is a fantastic opportunity for athletes such as John to share their story and inspire people to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Not only were these athletes ambassadors for our country, but they also represented the charity, Transplant Sport, and helped to raise more awareness here in the UK and globally, of the need for more people to sign on to the Organ Donor Register and express their wishes with family and friends.”
“The world games is a fantastic opportunity to help raise awareness for organ donation and the donor register and to show how transplants really change people’s lives.
Four years ago I couldn’t mow the lawn, never mind do any sort of sport. Now I can train and play as before. It gave me my life back."
More than 135 Transplant Sport athletes, including 15 juniors, and many more supporters descended on the Rainbow Nation.
The World Transplant Games, supported by the International Olympic Committee, represents the largest organ donor awareness event in the world, featured a week of 13 sporting events. Team GB and NI joined over 1000 other transplant athletes from 55 countries across the globe.
More than 10,000 people in the UK are currently waiting for a transplant and sadly, three people die waiting every day. But with only 31 per cent of the UK population actually registered as organ donors, more work needs to be done to raise awareness of donation and to urge those on to the donor register to share their wishes with loved ones.
To add your name to the NHS Organ Donor Register call 0300 1232323, text SAVE to 84118 or visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk
Some photographs from the Games are available in the photo gallery.