He’s all gold! Dazzling Declan’s Euro success

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Woodhall Spa’s talented transplant games star Declan Bennett has secured another glittering haul of medals - this time at the European Championships.

Competing in Italy, the 19-year-old returned with five golds and two silvers.

Declan said he was ‘absolute ecstatic’ and was full of praise for his sponsors, Horncastle based Balcan Lighting Supplies.

Declan, who had a kidney transplant at the age of seven, has now set his sights on more success in the British Transplant Games in Birmingham from August 2-5.

He proved his all-round skills in Italy, securing wins in the pool and on the track.

The former Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School student won gold in the 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle and in 50m butterfly and the freestyle relay.

His silver medals came in the 50m backstroke and 400m on the track.

His impressive performances included three personal bests.

Declan said: “I’m absolutely ecstatic with the results and happy that my training has paid dividends.

“Again, a huge thank you to my sponsor Balcan Engineering. I couldn’t have done it witbout their support. They have been brilliant.”

Declan is hoping his success will inspire others who have undergone transplants and help highlight the campaign for organ donations.

He is currently studying Sport and Exercise Science.

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

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

The kidney for his transplant came from his father Guy.

Before competing in Italy, Declan had been successful at World, European and British transplant games.

Last year, he won six golds, two silvers and a bronze in the World Games in Malaga, Spain. He says it is a ‘great honour’ to represent GB.