With the third anniversary of receiving a kidney fast approaching, Colin Church and his wife, Jacqui, are celebrating by taking part in the the World Transplant Games.
Jacqui, who is a well known Waikato District Councillor, donated her kidney to Colin in September 2014, after his began to fail from a hereditary kidney disease.
Both made a speedy recovery from the transplant, and now, with a new lease on life, Colin says that taking part in the games became a goal as soon as he heard about them.
The World Transplant Games are held every two years, and what makes this year even more special is that living donors and their families are able participate and compete.
“It is all about giving our donors recognition, and raising awareness of organ donation. After receiving your organ, you are told that it is the first day of the rest of your life, and this is just one way to show that. It definitely is something to tick off the bucket list,” says Colin.
The games have been running for over 35 years, and focus on promoting physical success of transplant surgery. This year, they are being held in Malaga, Spain.
More than 2000 athletes have registered for the event, however, only 12 will be representing New Zealand,and includes Jacqui and Colin.
“We may be only a small group but I know Jacqui will make sure that New Zealand is noticed,” laughs Colin.
The dynamic Port Waikato team say they are proud to be representing New Zealand in their respected sporting abilities.
“Colin is great at golf, so we may have a good chance there, but I will only be taking part in the 5km road race at a walk, and shotput,” laughs Jacqui. “But I hope to suggest that they do a fashion in the field category, how neat would that be? I have my wardrobe ready.”
Colin will also be competing in field events, such as discus and shotput, as well as petanque.
“We are really looking forward to it. I am sure that we are going to hear some fascinating and remarkable stories,” says Colin.
Colin and Jacqui fly out for Spain on Sunday 18 June, with the opening ceremony being held on Sunday 25 June.
CAPTION: Jacqui and Colin Church are ready to tackle the World Transplant Games in Spain.