An ambulance paramedic is representing the UK at the 17th World Transplant Games this summer in Australia.

Emergency medical technician, Helen Hayton, 34, will be doing her best to scoop gold in the pool and on the track at the end of August on Australia’s Gold Coast.

It will be the fourth time Miss Hayton, from Croydon, has represented the UK in the tournament after taking part in France in 2003, Canada in 2005 and Thailand in 2007.

Miss Hayton qualified for the games after having a kidney transplant nine years ago at St Helier Hospital, Sutton.

She’ll be taking part in the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle and the 50m backstroke, as well as the 800m run when the tournament begins on August 22.

Miss Hayton said: “It’ll be tough in Australia because the Aussies have got a strong swimming team and being the host nation they’ll have a big squad.

“I’ve got a knee injury at the moment as well so we’ll just have to see how things go. I’ll give it my best shot though and I usually do pretty well so I’m quietly confident.”

The games are open to anyone who has had a transplant and dates back to 1978 when the inaugural event was held in Portsmouth.

Miss Hayton said: “It's all about raising awareness around organ donation and encouraging people to talk about their wishes with family and friends. "I was very lucky because my twin brother was willing to donate a kidney but there are thousands of people who have to wait on the transplant waiting list.

“I was never really a sporty person before I had the transplant and I started swimming and running just to keep myself healthy. "I suppose one thing led to another and, after competing in the British Transplant Games, I was asked to represent my country at a higher level.”

As well as athletics and swimming, other events on the programme include badminton, cycling, golf, shooting, squash and tennis.

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