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
Possible return to campus for college students
By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors
The announcement by the Department of Education this week, that the Leaving Cert results will be issued on Friday, September 3, was followed by confirmation from the Central Applications Office that CAO Round 1 offers will be issued online, four days later on Tuesday, September 7 at 2pm.
This is about three weeks later than normal, although it is earlier than the 2020 dates. Coinciding with the release of these dates comes the news from Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris, that it is the priority of Government to get college students back on campus for the 2021/2022 academic year. Because of the later issue of Leaving Cert results and CAO offers, this means that First Year students will start college a couple of weeks later than those who are returning to college in Second, Third and Fourth Year.
From the point of social distancing, the staggered start may be an advantage, as we will still be living with certain restrictions due to COVID-19. There are a number of contributing factors what will influence a safe and successful return to the college campus for students according to Minister Harris. They include the roll-out and take-up of vaccinations in the college-age cohort by September, the use of rapid testing on campus which has been run as a pilot in several universities this year, and a varied approach to face-to-face lectures. It is hoped that smaller classes, practicals and tutorials can be operated as before with social distancing while the larger lectures may need to be facilitated using a blended approach. It is also felt that if cafés, restaurants and bars are open everywhere else, there is no reason why they can’t open on campus. This of course is all based on vaccinations and public health guidelines.
A big concern for First Year students following the announcements is the fact that they will be looking for accommodation later than all other students. This is an issue every single year because when CAO offers are issued, many students get offers for colleges in locations where they have not secured accommodation. Naturally it is of particular concern to rural students and mirrors a greater societal shortage of accommodation. Minister Harris has also stated that he is bringing a proposal to Cabinet in the coming weeks to implement legislation which means that the owners of purpose-built student accommodation will only be allowed to charge rents a month in advance rather than insisting on payment of rent for half of the college year, something which has put enormous strain on students and their families over the years.
So, while any kind of certainty surrounding a return to ‘normal’ college life isn’t possible, it is both hopeful and exciting for new and returning college students to be able to look forward to the next college year with the prospect of getting to enjoy a real college experience and all that has to offer.
I will be hosting a free webinar for Leaving Cert parents on June 16 at 7pm on ‘How to help your son/daughter with CAO Change of Mind and other career options’ ahead of the CAO deadline on July 1.
To register see links on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram: @mycareerplan or email me on email@example.com.
Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant. For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Deadline for health and well-being fest fast approaching
Friday June 25, the closing date to register an interest in hosting an activity or event during the 2021 Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest, is fast approaching. This year’s #KerryMHWFest will run from October 9 to 16. It is held annually to highlight World Mental Health Day on October 10. Organised by an interagency […]
Friday June 25, the closing date to register an interest in hosting an activity or event during the 2021 Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest, is fast approaching.
This year’s #KerryMHWFest will run from October 9 to 16. It is held annually to highlight World Mental Health Day on October 10.
Organised by an interagency steering group, the key focus of the Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest is to promote mental health and well-being in Kerry through a fun and interactive programme of events.
“The Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest aims to create awareness of, and schedule events that empower people to engage with the Five Ways to Well-being – Connect | Give | Take Notice | Keep Learning | Be Active – as well as raising awareness of the available supports and services in the county,” Chair of the Steering Committee, Donagh Hennebry, said.
“The Fest has a wide reach across Kerry and we want to continue to build on its success in 2021. But we can’t do this without you! We are inviting anyone who is interested in helping us achieve our goal, by hosting an event(s) during #KerryMHWFest, to register online as soon as possible.”
The organising committee is a collaboration between Connecting for Life Kerry, Healthy Kerry, Kerry County Council, the HSE, NEWKD, SKDP, Kerry Mental Health Association, Jigsaw Kerry, Munster Technological University/Kerry, and Kerry Volunteer Centre.
To register your interest to host an event for the 2021 Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest, visit www.healthykerry.ie before close of business on Friday, June 25.
For more information about registration, promotion, or the Fest in general, please contact the interagency steering group at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free and subsidised higher education courses for Kerry
11 free and subsidised higher education places have been announced for Kerry under the Springboard+ 2021 and Human Capital Initiative (HCI) Pillar 1 initiatives. The courses, which open for applications today (Wednesday), will run at Munster Technological University Kerry. The courses on offer include a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy Management & Practice, a Certificate in […]
11 free and subsidised higher education places have been announced for Kerry under the Springboard+ 2021 and Human Capital Initiative (HCI) Pillar 1 initiatives. The courses, which open for applications today (Wednesday), will run at Munster Technological University Kerry.
The courses on offer include a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy Management & Practice, a Certificate in Retail Food Service Operations and a Postgraduate Diploma in Bioeconomy with Business.
Over 10,000 places are available across both programmes nationwide in 2021.
Springboard+ provides free courses for people who are unemployed, people who have taken time out of work or education to raise their families or care for loved ones, or people who want to upskill. Now in its 10th year, over 75,000 people have benefited from Springboard+ to date.
Courses under the HCI Pillar 1 programme are aimed at graduates and offer incentivised places for them to reskill in areas of skills shortage and emerging technologies. These are being run alongside, and complementary to, the Springboard+ offerings.
For those in employment, the Government will fund 90% of the cost of a Springboard+ or HCI Pillar 1 course. The programmes are managed by the Higher Education Authority on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills.
Launching the programme, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, TD said, “As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we will need to ensure that people have the skills they need”.
Candidates who wish to participate will find full details on the approved courses on www.springboardcourses.ie. Experienced guidance counsellors will be available to advise potential Springboard+ and HCI Pillar 1 participants on their options on the freephone Springboard+ helpline: 1800 303 523. The helpline is open from 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.
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