Determined Declan sets his sights on a top ‘Italian job’

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Woodhall Spa teenager Declan Bennett flew out to Italy last weekend aiming to add to his impressive tally of titles and records - this time at the European Transplant and Dialysis Championships.

The former Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School pupil - who is now 19 - already holds a number of Transplant Games records at national and world level.

He headed off to Italy in a confident mood, thanks in no small way to a new sponsorship deal with a Horncastle company.

Balcan Lighting Supplies, the lighting supplies division of Balcan Engineering Ltd, is backing Declan’s latest bid for gold.

Declan fell ill at the age of seven with chronic renal failure and underwent transplant surgery in April 2009 at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.

The kidney for the transplant operation came from his father Guy.

Thanks to the success of the surgery, Declan has made the most of what he calls his ‘second chance’ at life.

He said: “It is a great honour once again to be representing GB at another international event.

“Apart from competing, I love the chance to promote the power of organ donation across the world and take the bull by the horns with a second chance of life.”

Declan revealed he is ‘extremely grateful’ to Balcan Engineering for their generosity which has helped fund the travel and training expenses towards the championships which are now underway in Cagliari.

Declan is currently studying Sport and Exercise Science at college in Lincoln.

He swims and runs competitively for Lincoln Vulcans Swimming Club and Lincoln Wellington Athletics Club respectively.

Declan has been successful at past World, European and British Transplant Games.

He won six golds, two silvers and a bronze at last year’s World Transplant Games held in Malaga, Spain.

Alistair Rinfret, Managing Director of Balcan Engineering Ltd, said: “I understand to participate in these games requires a certain amount of self-funding.

“I hope that by sponsoring Declan, he will have had more time for training and studies.”

Declan will be competing in a number of events - both in the pool and on the track.

He is due back in the UK next week with the championships scheduled to finish on Sunday (June 24).

Although among the favourites, Declan recognises the tough challenge he faces .

•Balcan Lighting has been based on the Boston Road Industrial Estate for about seven years and supply lamps to homes and businesses across the country.