WITH over 200 training sessions behind him, Rosscarbery’s Mike Keohane is in confident mood ahead of the 41st British Transplant Championships to be held in Birmingham in early August.
Having returned from the European Championships in Sardinia with three medals, Keohane hopes to be as successful in the UK.
He is currently the 5km racewalk British champion, a title he has held for the last four years and hopes to retain.
Over 900 athletes from all over the UK will participate in various sports and some countries are also invited to compete, including Team Ireland and Australia.
Keohane will also compete in the shot putt, javelin and discus and he has been very successful in these events in the past.
Winning the silver medal in the discus this year in Sardinia will give him extra encouragement and last year he won his first medal in the javelin in the UK Championships which were held in Scotland.
‘I have trained hard since last year and have done well over 200 sessions,’ the West Cork man said.
‘I am delighted that Rob Heffernan is now training me for the race walk and that has added an extra impetus to my training. His sessions are tough but I found that his training schedule has improved my fitness greatly. He certainly has the knowledge and experience and it shows, already I find myself getting better.
‘I also meet Dave Sweeney in Dublin regularly and he is Ireland’s main throws coach so he works on my technique for these events.
‘Locally then, I am delighted to be part of Rosscarbery Steam Runners Athletic Club and this is a fantastic group who support and encourage me all the way.
‘And if all that wasn’t enough I also have my own local personal trainer and physio expert, Maurice Moore from ClonRoss Clinic who makes sure I am injury-free. I consider myself very lucky to have such a powerful team working with me.’
Transplant Sport actively promotes the importance of more people telling their family and friends they wish to donate, so that families do not refuse to give consent because of a lack of knowledge. It demonstrates powerfully that organ donation works and each athlete is deeply grateful for the gift of life, none more so than Keohane.
‘I am so thankful for these opportunities that I would never have had without the donor and the donor’s family and ten years on from my transplant, I am fitter and healthier than I have ever been. I am deeply grateful for the precious gift of life.’
To carry a donor card, free text the word DONOR to 50050.