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Transplant footballers train with Newport County ahead of British Transplant Games

Newport is preparing to host the British Transplant Games in July.

Many of the athletes who'll take part have undergone transplant surgery - and their sporting achievements will demonstrate how it's transformed their lives.

One group of men, who have all received kidney transplants, will be part of Wales' football team.

On Wednesday they had the chance to train with Newport County players club’s Spytty Park grounds.

  • Hear their stories in the video below:

Shaun Ruck has had two kidney transplants and is currently back on dialysis.

If you’ve been on dialysis, maybe anything from three to five years, you’ve been disconnected from the real world, and all you know is eat, sleep, dialysis, repeat.

In my situation it’s all about pushing yourself to the limits – to make sure that you’re not missing out just because of the condition that you have.

– Shaun Ruck, team manager

Triple-kidney transplantee, Darren Brown, is also taking part in the Games.

He says the event helps transplant patients support each other.

You want to make sure you give your best for your teammates as well, who’ve been through the same condition as you. You’ve got all that background together.

You can share your stories together. They’re there to pick you up if you’re feeling down.

– Darren Brown
Players from the Wales transplant team take to the pitch alongside Newport County players

Transplant Sport, the charity that organises the Games, say the aim of the four-day sporting competition is to encourage transplant patients to get fit and to raise awareness of the need for organ donation.

Wales has had an opt-out organ donation system since 2015. This means it is presumed that adults in Wales have consented to being a donor, unless they have specified otherwise.

Renal social worker Laura McGuinness says conversations about organ donation are still important.

“These kind of events get lots of people talking who maybe wouldn’t have thought to have had that conversation before. It’s a really important message.”.