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Super haul of seven medals for Transplant Team Ireland on first day

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TODAY marked the first day of the 9th European Transplant & Dialysis Games held in Vantaa, Finland, and Transplant Team Ireland got off to a thrilling start today securing a staggering seven medals.

The Championships are a multi-sport event running from July 10 until July 17. Transplant Team Ireland’s impressive medal haul today included two gold, two silver and three bronze, in the darts events. The team also put in a good performance in the mini-marathon.

A newcomer to the team, Tralee native and kidney transplant recipient Stephen Byrne competed in the mini-marathon today. Stephen said: "I really enjoyed my first event I managed to knock 33 seconds off my personal best so even though I didn’t win a medal I'm delighted."

Donegal native Kieran Murray and Tipperary’s Orla Hogan also competed in the 5km event. Battling a chest infection, Kieran was unable to perform to his usual impressive speed and he said: "It was very tough I am slightly disappointed with my time but I certainly did my best. I am really looking forward to my other events towards the end of the week. I am delighted to be here and to be able to promote organ donor awareness.”

In the darts event, Charlie Ryan, a veteran to the Games, bagged a gold. Charlie, a liver transplant recipient from Cobh, went head to head with Dublin native (Cabinteely) and kidney transplant recipient Mick Dwyer in the final. It was a close match but in the end Charlie took the Gold while Mick took the silver. Charlie was delighted to beat a Dublin man; "It was fantastic that Cork beat Dublin, this is my fifth gold medal in the darts in a row at European Games over the years.”

Edward Crowe, from Carrick on Suir, Tipperary, who underwent the first spousal living donor kidney transplant operation in Ireland from his wife Deirdre in 2008, also secured a bronze medal today in a darts event.

Eddie McAuliffe, a kidney transplant recipient from Kill, Co Kildare, and now living in Portarlington, Offaly, also showed off his skill in Darts today securing a gold in his age category.

Zimele Brown, from Galway (a native of New Orleans) and Richard McEvoy from Kilkenny (and now living in Limerick) were victorious in the dialysis category. Zimele took home the silver while Richard took the Bronze.
Kidney/pancreas recipient Bridie Nicholson from Sligo took the Bronze in her age category in Darts. Bridie is a long-standing member of Transplant Team Ireland having taken part in several European and World Games and is looking forward to competing in Petanque tomorrow.

Mullingar native Finian Farrell, Team Captain Harry Ward from Baldoyle, Dublin (both kidney transplant recipients) and Arklow native Philip Kavanagh, a liver transplant recipient, also played very well in their respective darts events and narrowly missed out on securing medals.

Transplant Team Ireland which comprises 22 men and 6 women includes 22 transplant recipients (4 liver, 17 kidney and 1 combined kidney/pancreas) and six athletes that are receiving dialysis treatment.

The Irish Kidney Association is responsible for the co-ordination and organisation of Transplant Team Ireland's participation in the European Transplant & Dialysis Championships.

The Team will return home to Dublin Airport next Sunday.

For an organ donor card Freetext the word DONOR to 50050 or visit website www.ika.ie It is also possible to download an organ donor card on smartphones by searching for Donor ECard at the iPhone store or android market place. Your wishes to be an organ donor can also be included on the new format driving licence which is represented by Code 115

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Jordan’s new role with St Paul’s

By Sean Moriarty Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club. Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level. The High Jumper then switched […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club.

Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level.

The High Jumper then switched to track and field and qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics where he made history by becoming the first Kerry athlete to act as a flag bearer for an opening ceremony and lead an Irish team into an Olympic Stadium.

Now back home and preparing for the next Olympics in Paris, he has returned to his first love and will join the backroom staff at the local Division One basketball club ahead of their National League campaign which begins next month.

His father Jarlath Lee is head coach with St Paul’s.

“Jordan is joining us as our strength and conditioning coach,” Jarlath told the Killarney Advertiser.

INTERNATIONALS

Meanwhile, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club National League team will have a distinctive feel to it this year after securing the services of three overseas players it for the season ahead.

The club’s biggest signing is Canadian professional Ben Miller. It was originally hoped that the former two-time Manitoba Player of the Year would play for the local side last season but the pandemic got in the way and the National League was never played. However, he did play two training games this time last year before returning to Canada until travel restrictions lifted.

“He is a good guy, very approachable and very good with the young members,” Jarlath said.

The club has also signed Bulgarian International Emilian Grudov.

The 20-year-old has already represented his home country at U16, 18 and 20 level.

“He is young, athletic and very good offensively,” added Lee.

The returning Lithuanian Dianius Varanaukus completes the club international line up for the 2020/21 season.

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Soccer coach licensed to one of the highest levels in Ireland

By Sean Moriarty A Killarney soccer coach has been praised by the FAI for her contribution to soccer in the county and on the occasion of her being granted a UEFA B Licence this week. Ramona Keogh of Mastergeeha FC has qualified for one of highest-ranking coach licences in Europe.The UEFA B Licence is a […]

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By Sean Moriarty

A Killarney soccer coach has been praised by the FAI for her contribution to soccer in the county and on the occasion of her being granted a UEFA B Licence this week.

Ramona Keogh of Mastergeeha FC has qualified for one of highest-ranking coach licences in Europe.
The UEFA B Licence is a coaching licence mandated by UEFA, the official governing body of European football. The licence is one level below the UEFA A Licence and allows holders to be head coaches of amateur clubs, youths up to age 16, and assistant coaches for professional clubs.

Ramona started her training in November 2019 and continued, when restrictions allowed, on several block weekends taking place in FAI Headquarters Dublin, Foto Island in Cork, and final assessments in NUIG in Galway.

“Ramona played a significant role in the course group, supporting the younger coaches and challenging those more experienced, ensuring that the group was dynamic, engaging, interactive and a real positive learning environment,” said the FAI’s Head of Coach Education FAI Niall O’Regan.

“Ramona has been a significant role model for not only female coaches but also males coaches in the Kerry region and has done phenomenal work in her previous club Killarney Celtic and more recently with Mastergeeha. It is so important to have such role models and the motivation Ramona has shown is infectious and many coaches will continue in the same vein.”

For Ramona, this week’s award was the culmination of months of hard work, seminars and study.

“It was really tough at the time, final assessments had been submitted, everything had then switched to Zoom and we were so eager to get it finished. Luckily enough I got to finish off a lot of the course content online and then had individual assessments with my tutor Richie Holland current Cork City Men’s Assistant Manager,” she told the Killarney Advertiser. “Then when we returned to outdoor sports in July we got our practical assessments finished with Galway Utd in NUIG.”

ASSESSMENT

The final assessment took place at Mastergeeha FC pitch – the first time ever that a UEFA coaching assessment took place in Kerry.

“I was coaching in Mastergeeha FC in Killarney pre covid and based on logistics and other coaches’ locations in Munster on my UEFA B I was delighted to coordinate a UEFA B assessment with the FAI to be held in the Mastergeeha with the help of the committee,” she added.

“Tom O’Connor FAI Coach Educator and former Interim Republic of Ireland’s Head Coach was really impressed with the setup, the standard of really good footballers and the fantastic committee that ran it so smoothly.”

It was the first time UEFA B assessments were ever held in Kerry and the facilities, committee and the Mastergeeha U16 Boys team were outstanding that day.

She received mentoring and support from some of the biggest names in Irish soccer.

“I was delighted and honoured to receive my UEFA B Diploma Licence,” she said. “Throughout the diploma I’ve had some great tutors, mentors and some great guest speakers from Robbie Keane, Vera Pauw, Stephen Rice and Ruud Dokter FAI High Performance.

“There was a great core group of us on the course from Irish Senior International Players like Katie McCabe, Megan Campbell, Louise Quinn, Niamh Fahy and I’ve made some amazing friendships with all the ladies on the course. From the start it was a group of huge experience, drive and determination was something we all had in common and it’s great to see us all complete it together.”

LOCAL HELP

She could not have done it without the help of her home club.

“On a personal note, I just want to thank Mastergeeha FC for all their help and support, with special mention to all the management committee, teams and coaches. Must give a mention to Allan Moynihan, Brendan Buckley, Paul Lenihan and Ulick O’Sullivan also. I’m really looking forward to getting back to Academy training in the next two weeks,” she added.

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