Golden boy Rob wants to be an Olympic champ
Sporting starlet Robert Collins returned home from the British Transplant Games with a haul of medals to match last year’s success, and now one day hopes to become an Olympian.
The nine-year-old even retained gold in the long jump despite moving up an age category from 6-8 to 9-11 years at the compeition in Meadway, Kent.
Robert, of Badgers Gate, Dunstable, receved a live donor kidney transplant from his uncle in 2009 and competed in the games as part of Great Ormond Street Hospital’s renal team, where he is a patient receiving treatment every six weeks and has operations every six months.
Also scooping silvers in badminton and table tennis, the all-rounder added to the three golds he achieved at last year’s Transplant Games in Belfast.
Robert also won his heat in the freestyle swimming but finished fifth in the final, and also narrowly missed out in the 50m sprint final, finishing fourth.
Dad Matt told the Gazette: “He was practising on the beach on holiday, the family went to Devon this summer and he was practising his long jump in the sand!
“He just loves sport, he enjoys it – it’s his escape. He wants to be an Olympian.”
Robert has spoke of his ambition to be a doctor at Great Ormond Street Hospital, but in the meantime hopes to be picked for team GB.
Matt said: “He’ll be too young to compete in the World Transplant Games in South Africa in two years, but Buenos Aires in four years is the sporting aim.”
Sporty Robert also plays for Leighton United under 10s and is captain of Lancot Lower’s school team. He left Lancot at the end of last term and will start at Streetfield Middle School in September.
Matt said: “The teachers have been absolutey fantastic, like a second family. I’m sure Streetfield will be just as fantastic.”
Little sister Harriet, seven, is Robert’s biggest fan, with nurses nicknaming her ‘Team Harriet’ due to her fantastic support.
Taking a rest from competing, Robert will take the role of spectator this weekend as he heads to Eton Darney to soak up some Paralympic rowing on Friday, before watching the athletics on Sunday.
Matt said: “He will love seeing his heroes in action.”
The first ‘Transplant Olympics’ were held in Portsmouth in 1978, and today membership age ranges from four to 80 – all having received the life-saving gift of a major organ.
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Weather for Luton
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North