GB tennis success at World Transplant Games
• 3 MINUTE READ
Tennis players from Great Britain dominated proceedings at the World Transplant Games in Newcastle, winning a total of nine medals and helping GB rise to the top of the overall leaderboard.
Tennis was one of 16 sports to be included in the week-long event, spanning from 17 to 23 August, with singles and doubles tennis competitions played over two consecutive days.
More than 2,300 athletes from 59 countries competed at the Games, with athletes grouped into categories by age and gender, from juniors up to over-80s. Entry was open to recipients of organ or cell transplants who were medically fit and had trained in their chosen disciplines, while donor families and living donors could also take part in select events.
Taking place at the Northumberland Club in Jesmond, the tennis singles event saw seven podium finishes for GB players, including a one-two in the under-11 boys category:
Kristof Polgar (Gold)
Aaron Sinkins (Silver)
Joseph Hunsley (Silver)
Christos Liaskos (Silver)
Marina Lyons (Gold)
Nancy Smith (Silver)
Jane Hampson (Gold)
Meanwhile, in the doubles, GB found success in the mixed category as Andy McGarry and Jane Hampson won a tense champions tie-break to win gold. Christos Liaskos and Andrew McGarry also won gold in the 30-49 Men's Doubles.
In total, the GB team banked 484 medals - 205 of which were gold, as this year saw the Games returned to the British Isles for the first time since 1995.
Alongside the tennis competition, the LTA also ran a free, community fun day for people of all ages and abilities to try their hand at tennis. Over 40 people attended the day, with many now aiming to pick up a racket more frequently.
The Summer World Transplant Games take place every two years, with the winter edition occurring every intervening year. The first competitive sporting event for transplant recipients was staged 41 years ago. The Games have never just been about winning - as the competition has toured across the world its primary objective has been to raise awareness of the miraculous ability of organ donation.
Meet Joseph Hunsley...
15-year-old Joseph from Newcastle won silver in the singles and shared his story with us...
Who said what?
One participant commented: “Our daughters absolutely loved today. Tennis is so much fun. The coaches were so friendly and we had really long rallies. I’m going to get my kids into tennis for sure!”
Speaking about the day, LTA Workforce Development Partner Jo Cunliffe commented: “Welcoming so many families to the Northumberland Club’s Community Fun Day was fantastic. Tennis can be enjoyed by anyone and today was proof of that. The event was full of fun, smiles and energy all day – just brilliant!”