Page 22 - Support Magazine Winter 2017
P. 22


                                            person who crosses the line LAST

                                            as much as we HUG the person

                                            who comes FIRST.”
              By PAT O’SULLIVAN

                   n Sunday October 23rd,     May 21st was the presentation of  the ‘gift of life’. Going to the 2017
                   2016, I attended my first  our gear for the Games. The team  Games was to honour my donor, their
                   Transplant Team Ireland  gathered for the presentation and a  family and my own family who had
                   get together in the      wonderful motivation speech by      gone through so much with me.
                   ALSAA Sports Complex     Kilkenny hurler Michael Fennelly -    I had been an athlete in my
        Onext to Dublin Airport.            even as a Cork man I was impressed  younger days. I ran, jumped, and
        From the time I walked in I was made  with the insights from Michael, on  played rugby and soccer at various
        feel welcome and very much part of  how athletes should prepare for a big  different levels so coming to the
        the team.                           event.                              Games was my chance to relive those
           Team captain, Harry Ward,          Saturday June 24th I left Mallow  days. I was going to run in the 100m,
        encouraged me to play his favourite  heading for Dublin airport to      200m and compete in the Long Jump
        sport, badminton, a game I had never  represent my country for the first  all in my own age category. I had also
        played before. Harry is the perfect  time, butterflies in my stomach. I  entered the Golf, both singles and
        Captain, he introduced me to        stopped in Mitchelstown to pick up  team, but my focus and training was
        everyone and each month after that  another first-time competitor in the  all about the track.
        when I made the trip up from Mallow  Games, Michael Kiely. Michael and    The Opening Ceremony was held in
        to attend these sessions Harry made  myself arrived in Dublin airport to  a bull ring in the centre of the city of
        sure I knew anyone new that was     meet the rest of the team and board  Malaga - a wonderful amphitheatre.
        there. These sessions are great     our Ryanair flight to Malaga. World  Just before we left our hotel I was
        bonding sessions for competitors    Transplant Games here I come!       asked by our Team Manager, Colin,
        going to the Games so you do not      When I was put on the transplant  and Team Captain, Harry, to carry the
        turn up cold to the airport on the way  list first my goal was to compete in  tricolour into the stadium. Walking
        not knowing who your team-mates     the World Games in Argentina in     into the fantastic atmosphere carrying
        are.                                August 2015. In August 2015 I got   my national flag was a wonderful

                         Pat O’Sullivan, Rachel Eagleton     Mike Keohane

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