Spalding teaching assistant aims for two shots at gold in European games
A Spalding teaching assistant is flying the flag for Great Britain at a sports event for transplant patients.
Sam Newton (36) is determined to pull on a British jersey at the European Transplant and Dialysis Sports Championships in Cagliari, Italy, from June 17 to 24.
After winning a total of ten medals at four British Transplant Games between 2014 and 2017, Sam is aiming to peak at a higher level, with European success in archery and badminton.
Sam said: “I knew there was a World Transplant Games before I knew about the British Transplant Games.
“But it wasn’t until I went to a volleyball event for transplant patients last November that I found out about the European championships.
“It wasn’t something I was planning on entering until I found out that archery would be in it and then I decided to go.
I was looking for another way of wearing a Great Britain shirt again after shooting for my country as a junior and I want to represent my country in something I’m good at
“I was looking for another way of wearing a Great Britain shirt again after shooting for my country as a junior and I wanted to represent my country in something I’m good at.”
Sam owes a lot of his ability to compete in sports again after having a kidney and pancreas transplant in February 2014 to the staff at Spalding’s Castle Sports Complex where he uses the gym regularly.
He said: “I knew realistically that with my health as it was, plus the way other people were training to improve their standard of shooting, I wasn’t going to be the archer that I used to be.
“But if it wasn’t for the fact that I had the transplant at Addenbrooke’s Hosptal in Cambridge, I wouldn’t have been capable of physically being a teaching assistant because I wouldn’t have been able to be in school for 8.30am.
“Now I’m trying to raise about £1,7000 in order to cover the costs of registration for the championships, flights, health and travel insurance, Great Britain kit and to buy a new archery case.
“I’ve raised nearly 30 per cent of my target so far, but if people are feeling generous or any companies who would be willing to sponsor me, I’d be very grateful for their help.”
Sam’s medals at his previous British Transplant Games came in archery, badminton and volleyball, as well as helping Addenbrooke’s to overall gold medals in 2015 and 2016.
He said: “I originally planned on doing archery and volleyball at the Europeans, but the British team manager asked me to consider playing doubles badminton as well because the team was a player short.
“Then the volleyball event was cancelled because there were too few teams, so I’m just doing archery and badminton.
“Everything has been quite last minute in terms of preparation so I have no expectation and no fear.
“The fact that I’m going to Cagliari at all is an achievement in itself and I’ve got to give a lot of credit to the 1Life staff at Castle Sports Complex, Spalding, because without them, I’d really be struggling.
“I’ve been able to use the gym there to build up strength and I also have an archery coach to make sure I’m shooting as best as I can.
“But I’ve got nothing to worry about when it comes to the European Transplant and Dialysis Sports Championships.”
To sponsor Sam, visit www.justgiving.com and then search under his name.