Held on 19-22nd August
Report by Team Bristol manager Catharine Hall
This year we took a record number of athletes to the games, no less than 26 competed under the banner of Team Bristol and certainly did their home city proud.
The games commenced on Thursday 19th with a parade around Bath city centre and an opening ceremony in Bath Abbey. Unfortunately the weather was a little unkind to put it mildly and anyone with an umbrella proved very popular! Nonetheless the team looked very smart in their new kit sponsored by the Foresters Friendly Society. The opening ceremony itself was excellent, there was standing room only in the abbey and three new Team Bristol members took part in the proceedings. Dami Howard read the games oath, Allegra Martin held the transplant flame and Ro Winstone received the TSUK flag.
The competition got off to a great start in the archery where two new members Vicky Mckay and Bryan Perrin took gold and silver respectively and Claire Downer took silver in the squash.
Friday saw excellent performances and further medals in the Table Tennis, particularly notable were Charlotte Taylor and Andrew Bartikiw. Andrew also took a bronze in the tennis along with a gold for Claire Downer.
Saturday is a big day at the games, we had the full swimming programme and the badminton, we really excel as a team in these events.
The teams swimming performance was truly outstanding. In all we took 19 medals in the pool. It is difficult to single out great performances but special mention must go to newcomers Ro Winstone and Allegra Martin. Ro did 5 events in the pool and promptly won 5 gold and silver medals attracting the immediate attention of the Team GB swimming coach and the nickname the human torpedo! Allegra won two golds in her first ever swimming competition and performed superbly. As always there were great performances from Team Bristol stalwarts John Trafford, Monica Moss and Margaret Mills.
The badminton was no less successful for the team in all we won 9 medals, 5 gold, 3 silver and a bronze. Special mention must go to Iain Mackay who was paired with Andrew Bartikiw and took gold in the mens super senior doubles. Iain performed brilliantly at his first games and the partnership netted a first ever gold for Andrew after many years of trying. Fellow newcomers Matt Coombs and Paul Filer also took gold in the adult doubles category and brought home a lovely shield and two silver salvers as best adult pairing.
So to Sunday and the final day of the games. Sunday is track and field day and we had a lot of athletes in action on the track. In fact we seemed to have nearly as many occupying the physio couches at one point! Again there were great performances in the blue riband events. New team member Lora Brisland took part in four track events and brought home 2 gold and 2 silver medals in the 800, 1500, 100 and 200m. It was a very busy day for Lora as each race seemed to be sandwiched between interviews with ITV and the BBC. Charlotte Taylor also took gold in the 1500m veteran age group. There were many other medals in the field events and great performances by all.
The games closed on Sunday evening with the traditional gala dinner and awards night. I am delighted to announce that Team Bristol won a further three trophies. The John Gorna trophy for the top UK transplant swimming team was a special highlight. This has been held by the Belfast team for a decade and it took an extraordinary day in the pool to place it in our care. The best newcomer trophy was awarded to Ro Winstone for her fantastic debut games and John Trafford brought home the best super veteran award. We were very narrowly piped to the post for the outright top team award in the final medal standings. We finished 2nd overall out of 35 teams with a total of 57 medals.
This is a fantastic achievement and a huge improvement on previous performances.
I would also like to pass a special mention to all those team members who did radio, TV and press work in the run up to the games. We had a great deal of media coverage raising awareness of the games and of the organ donor register. I think most of the team had their 15 minutes of fame! Overall this was a tremendous games and there was a wonderful spirit in the team.