An inspirational young Dunstable athlete has yet again tasted gold at the British Transplant Games, and now has his sights set on the World Championships.
Robert Collins, 10, defended the long jump gold he won last year, as well as winning badminton gold and table tennis silver at the nationwide event in Sheffield over the weekend of August 15-18.
He said: “Winning feels good, but bad as well. Some of the children I beat might have had a much worse experience in life than me.”
Born with one kidney, Robert had been a patient at Great Ormond Street Hospital since he was a few days old. He suffered from chronic renal failure until a successful kidney transplant from his Uncle Martin in 2009.
“I’m proud of my medals, but my parents are proud of me and that makes me even happier.”
Robert’s father Matt said: “It was fantastic to see Robert taking part in the games – I’m so proud of him.
“He’s got a big medal collection now – we’re going to need a bigger cabinet.” Robert has won medals at the Transplant Games three years in a row.
He added: “Some of the children do know me as ‘that boy who’s done well here before’. I want to compete at the World Championships in 2015 in Argentina.”
The whole family is sport-mad. Matt coaches Robert’s football team, while mum Liz, 44, coaches eight-year-old daughter Harriet’s football side.
Robert added: “I want to thank Harriet, she’s always there cheering me on.”