Athletes proving organ transplants are no barrier to world glory

The British kayak team took home medals at the games
The British kayak team took home medals at the games

A professional musician won glory for Great Britain when she took home three medals at the World Transplant Games earlier this month.

When Liz Hosford was 19 years old she received a donor kidney from her mother. Now 46, she competes in the World Transplant Games to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation.

Liz and Russell met at a previous World Transplant Games

Liz and Russell met at a previous World Transplant Games

Liz, who lives in Rackham Road in Worthing, said: “It gave me a new lease of life for competitive sport.

“It is really important to me, it’s become a little bit of an addiction.”

The games take place every two years, with people from across the world who have received donor organs coming together to compete in a range of sports.

Originally from Burgesss Hill, Liz competed alongside her partner Russell at this year’s games in Malaga, who won silver in kayaking, bronze in petanque doubles and mixed doubles badminton.

She also came sixth in volleyball and played in the ladies doubles badminton competition.

Liz added: “I do enjoy the winning but it is very important just being there.

“The whole emphasis of the games is promoting sports highlighting the need for organ donation.”

Russell, a senior planning engineer who received a heart transplant, won silver in kayaking and also took part in the petanque competitions.

According to Liz, Russell only had ‘two hours left’ to live and was at the top of the European donor list when he received his donor heart several years ago.

She and Russell have two daughters, Harriet (14) and Heidi (12), who are both very clued up on organ donation, Liz said.

Liz was keen to thank Easyjet for flying them out to the competition in Spain and South Downs Leisure for all its help.

The next World Transplant Games takes place on home soil in Newcastle in 2019.

Anyone who would like more information about organ donation or fancies competing can contact Liz by email at: liz_hosford@hotmail.com.