Woodhall Spa teenager proves to be a star in the pool - and on the track

Declan Bennett
Declan Bennett

Woodhall Spa teenager Declan Bennett really has proved he is a ‘golden guy’ after returning with another impressive haul of medals from the World Transplant Games in Spain.

The 18-year-old, a pupil at Horncastle’s Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, won eight medals, including six golds, a silver and a bronze.

Just for good measure, Declan also broke three Transplant Games records!

His performances at the event - held in Malaga - followed equally outstanding displays in the World Transplant Games in Argentina in 2015.

Then he won seven gold medals and set five world records,

Having just turned 18, Declan entered a more competitive age category in Malaga, competing against athletes up to the age of 29.

His success comes despite not training while he focused on exams, an injury two months ago and lack of access to a 50-metre pool.

At the age of seven, it was discovered that Declan had chronic renal failure – a condition that meant he needed a kidney transplant.

Declan received a living donor kidney transplant from his father Guy in 2009.

The donated kidney enabled Declan to work towards a healthy lifestyle and return to the many sporting activities that he enjoyed prior to surgery.

Declan said: “I can’t quite believe it, we’ve exceeded all our expectations.

“The competition was much tougher this time as more people could afford to attend with the games being in Europe.

“I had a wonderful time and to bring back this number of medals is fantastic.”

Amazingly, Declan finished his A-levels at QEGS just hours before flying out to Spain.

He trained in Malaga on the Tuesday and competitions started 24 hours later.

Declan - who is sponsored by the Sleaford based Elite Fish and Chip Company - took gold in the Individual 50m Backstroke and 100m Backstroke.

Declan has no plans to put his feet up just yet. He is competing at the British Transplant Games in Lanarkshire at the end of this month before enjoying a relaxing family holiday.

He will also be waiting for his exam results.