Goatacre cricketer primed for Transplant Games
A LITTLE over a year ago, Goatacre cricketer Matt Cave was hooked up to a dialysis machine with his kidneys functioning at just two per cent of their full capability. Today he will compete in the first of eight disciplines at a rapidly-growing national sport event.
Cave, 31, is heading to Sheffield for the British Transplant Games - a 35-year-old Olympics-style showpiece for those who have undergone major surgery to replace an organ and refused to give up competitive sport.
Over the course of the next four days, Cave - who plays in the Goatacre fourth team - will take part in a five-kilometre time trial on a bike, 100m and 200m sprints, a 4x100m relay, javelin and cricket-ball throwing competitions, a six-a-side cricket tournament and a one-day cricket match.
It’s quite some undertaking for a man who was close to the edge 12 short months ago, but as Cave explains, the Games have given him an extra incentive to get fit quick.
“I had the transplant in November last year and had to have a little bit of time off work, but since then my recovery has gone very well,” he said.
“I have returned to work in the gym and play cricket and stuff like that.
“In a lot of ways the Games have been a useful catalyst and a motivation to get me out into the gym. It’s been many years since I set foot in a gym but after I signed up for the Transplant Games I had the motivation not to embarrass myself, so I’ve put a lot of work into getting myself in good shape.
“I feel fitter and healthier than I have in a good few years as a result.
Around 1,000 competitors are expected to take part in this year’s Transplant Games, with the top performers due to be selected to represent their country at an international tournament in the near future.
“Apparently over the years it has become more and more competitive,” said Cave.
“It’s become more and more highclass and there are no some really strong athletes that take part.
“The top competitors in every age group from the British Games then get selected for Great Britain at the World Games.
“It covers a wide range of sports, perhaps similar to what you would expect to see at the Olympics but on a smaller scale.
“There’s a full schedule of track and field along with a number of other sports.
“There is a bit of cricket. It comes from the Great Britain Transplant Cricket Club, which was set up 2006, and plays mini-Ashes series against the Australians.
“There’s a mini six-a-side cricket tournament at the Games but time will tell how successful that is, the forecast isn’t great up there.”
Having had his life saved by organ donation, Cave is thankful to those who have added their names to the National Donor Waiting List.
“I was diagnosed with a chronic kidney disease, which appeared when I was seven. I’d probably had it since birth but it had been very slow in showing up,” he said.
“In early 2012 it was evident that my kidney function was starting to drop off quite rapidly and from having about 50 per cent kidney function in summer 2011, by the time I started dialysis in July last year my kidney function was down to about two per cent.
“That was about as low as it could go. I spent about three months on dialysis and I was very fortunate in getting a transplant kidney so soon off the national waiting list.”
You can join the Organ Donor Register by calling the NHS Donor Line on 03001232323 or by texting ‘SAVE’ to 62323.
Information on organ donation can be found online at www.organdonation.nhs.uk.
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