Sport & Leisure

Kidney transplant patient turned athlete is going for gold again

By David Prior at

An Altrincham athlete who had a kidney transplant as a child is looking for more glory this summer.

Sam Clarke is hoping to compete in the discus, 100m relay, petanque, and 10-pin bowling at the European Transplant Games in Helsinki in July.

The 23-year-old was born with a genetic kidney disease and had a transplant in 2003 at the age of 11.

He has since competed at previous British Transplant Games and represented Team GB at the world games in Argentina last year, where he won 10-pin bowling gold.

He said: “I have won a variety of medals in the past 12 years, most recently in the World Transplant Games in Argentina last year.

Sam at the World Transplant Games in Argentina last year

Sam won gold at the World Transplant Games in Argentina last year

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and one of the biggest achievements in my life so far. I have now made it my personal goal to attend the European Transplant and Dialysis Games this year in Helsinki.”

Sam, who works at Pure Gym in Altrincham, trains under coach John Snape at Altrincham Athletics Club.

He trains up to five times a week despite having to take 13 medications a day.

He added: “It’s only been in the last couple of years that I have really taken athletics seriously and it has meant a massive change for the better in my life. In that time I have lost a lot of weight and it’s been great for my general fitness.

Sam (third from right) with his gold medal in Argentina

Sam (third from right) with his gold medal in Argentina

“It would mean everything to me to get to the European games and the hopefully the World Transplant Games in Malaga next year.”

A team of 12 solicitors from Altrincham law firm McHale & Co is running the Manchester 10k in May and then taking on a Three Peaks Challenge to scale Ben Nevis, Mount Snowdon and Scafell Pike in July to help raise funds for Sam.

He needs around £1,000 to compete in Finland – extra money raised by McHale & Co will go to The Sport Community charity, which supports community projects with a specific target of helping sporting causes.

Andrew McHale, partner at McHale & Co, said: “I see Sam on a weekly basis down at Timperley running track where a couple of my children train. He’s a lovely lad who obviously has great determination to succeed. It is a great achievement to represent Great Britain.

“We sponsor a range of local sports teams so when I was asked to get involved with helping Sam get funding to represent Great Britain I jumped at the chance.”

For details of how to help Sam, go to the McHale website at www.mchaleandco.co.uk.