Most of us here at the Centre for Sport are passionate about what we do; whether we play sport regularly, workout in the gym or chat about the latest sporting results over a cup of tea. But we also have some sporting superstars in our midst.
In fact, our very own blog-writing extraordinaire, Marketing Assistant, Ella Gibson is competing at the 2017 World Transplant Games… And we’ve turned the tables to get an interview with her. Read on to find out more!
Name: Ella Gibson
Education: 1st Class Honours Degree in Sport and Exercise Science (University of Portsmouth)
Sport history: I grew up practicing a lot of sport, everything from gymnastics and swimming to horse riding and sailing. At university, I joined the lacrosse club and played in the South West league and cup finals. I still love to sail and I also surf so try to get to the coast as much as possible too.
Favourite sport: All of them!
Favourite way to relax: Yoga, cooking or being by the sea!
Best song to train to: I listen to anything and everything when I run, sometimes a slower beat helps me maintain a steady rhythm. An iPod staple is Feel The Love by Rudimental and my latest favourite is Questions by High Contrast.
Describe yourself in three words! Energetic, fearless and persistent.
What are the World Transplant Games?
The 2017 World Transplant Games (WTG) are taking place in Malaga, Spain from 25 June to 2 July 2017. All competitors have had a live saving transplant. The standard of competition at the Games is high, with the men’s 100 m record at 11.18 seconds and the long jump record at 6.85 m. Have a look at the WTG website for more.
How did you get involved in the World Transplant Games?
Although I had my kidney transplant in 2010, I only found out about the Transplant Games after graduating and then travelling in 2015. I then took part my first British Transplant Games in Liverpool last year (2016) where I won three golds, one silver and one bronze.
What sport(s) are you competing in at the World Transplant Games?
I’m competing in the 5 km Road Race (run), 5 km Individual Time Trial (cycling), 30 km Road Race (cycling), 400 m freestyle (swim), Women’s 4 X 50 m Medley Relay (swim), 800 m track (run), with the times from the 400 m swim, 30 km bike and 5 km run compiling to form the virtual triathlon.
How is training going?
With only two months until the games, I’m training in the tri sports at least five times a week with an additional gym session when time permits. Some weeks are a real struggle depending on work commitments but I definitely notice a difference when I’m training and I know it’ll all be worth it when I get to Malaga.
What are your expectations at the Games?
This is the 21st World Transplant Games with around 50 teams from around the world attending and over 200 athletes from the UK and Northern Ireland alone. I was blown away with the standard of the competition at Liverpool so I’m a little (a lot) apprehensive as to how I’ll perform. Obviously I want to compete to my best and I would love to get on the podium at least once. But I’ve been told the Games are incredible, with a great atmosphere, strong competition and inspiring company, so I’m also really looking forward to it.
What are your plans after this year’s Games?
Do you intend to carry on competing? As I’m training so much, I would love to take part in my first full triathlon (1.5 km swim, 40 km bike, 10 km run) at the end of the season. The World Transplant Games Federation also hold a Winter Games so I might look into that!
What piece of advice would offer to an aspiring athlete?
I always try to remember my end goal when I need a push, it’s the best motivation when I’m feeling lazy or uninspired!
So there you have it, an introduction into the world of transplant sport and transplant athlete, Ella Gibson. We wish her the best of luck for Malaga and hope to see some gold when she returns.