William Swan-Dennis returns from his third British Transplant Games with more medals
An inspirational nine year old, who powered through adversity, has returned from a special sporting event with two medals.
William Swan-Dennis, of Collingham, won a gold and bronze medal at the British Transplant Games, in Newport.
Swan-Dennis was cheered on by his family at the games, where he competed in five events — football, table tennis, 50m dash, ball throw and the obstacle race.
The sport-loving student, whose life was saved by a liver transplant after being diagnosed with cancer when just five months old, said he loved the experience, and this year was his favourite one yet.
“Football was my favourite,” he said.
His father, Ric, who cheered him on at the games with his children Emily, 12, Belle, 8, Thomas, 22, and his wife Angela, said: “It’s a humbling experience.
“You don’t realise how many poorly children there are until you see it in front of you.
“The last one over the line gets the biggest cheer, because often they are the most poorly.
“It a community like no other.”
The games are the flagship project of the charity Transplant Sport and was first named the Transplant Olympics when it began in 1978.
The series aims to highlight the benefits of transplantation and encourage transplant patients to regain fitness and enjoy sport.
The Newport games were William’s third, having picked up medals in the 2017 and 2018 events.
“It was overwhelming to see him,” said Angela. “It’s more than just pride.
“It made it even more special because his brother was there to support him. They take so much inspiration from each other and to see him cheer William on was so great.
“He was really excited about going and it made him feel normal because it normalises everything.”
William, who represented Birmingham Children’s Hospital, won gold in the football and bronze in the table tennis.
He will attend next year’s games in Coventry.
More by this authorConnor Thompson