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Vantaa = Fantastic

               unday July 10th saw Transplant Team Ireland meet in Dublin Airport to
               travel to Vantaa, Finland for the 9th European Transplant & Dialysis
               Sports Championships. The buzz of excitement and anticipation
        Samongst us all, competitors and supporters alike, was very noticeable for
        all to see.
           Having our competitors travel in full team kit and our supporters also wearing
        their tops ensured that we turned heads at the airport. The many good wishes
        we received were much appreciated.
           As Team Captain it was great to see how the team interacted. To see the old
        members and the new members coming together so easily it was a real reminder
        that we are like one big happy family and we were setting off on another great
        adventure. What an adventure it turned out to be...!
           As a competitor it is always reassuring to know that there is strong team
        support no matter where you finish. Everyone was celebrated as if they had won
        the Grand National! Our supporters are inspirational and, without them, we
        would not achieve what we achieve. This level of support is always encouraging
                                                                                       By HARRY WARD
        to see but, equally, I enjoy seeing our team support EVERYONE at the
                                                                                         Team Captain
           The reason I look forward to the European Championships so much is that we have members on the team who are on
        dialysis. They come to the Championships and go and have their dialysis in a strange country and when they are finished it
        is back to training for their next event. Each and every one of our dialysis athletes give it their all and more.
           I would strongly advise anyone who is currently on dialysis, even if you do not want to go and take part in the next
        Championships, just to come to the ALSAA Sports Complex at Dublin airport. Our next training day is January 15th at
                                                                     11.00 am.
                                                                       I would like to thank all of our team members
                                                                     and our wonderful supporters for putting up with
                                                                     me and being on time for all our meetings!
                                                                       A special word of thanks to Colin for all the hard
                                                                     work and effort he puts into the Championships to
                                                                     make everything go as smooth as it can for us.
                                                                       Thanks also to Mark, Sarah, Claire and Valerie
                                                                     for all the support shown to all the team members.
                                                                     I am looking forward to next year's World
                                                                     Transplant Games in Malaga, Spain and I hope to
                                                                     see you all back again.

                                              IKA S UPPORT W INTER 2016                                       21
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