Cameron McGregor-Ogden of Goostrey and Canute was selected to represent Great Britain in badminton at the World Transplant Games in Malaga at the end of June. The World Transplant Games take place every 2 years attracting over 2,000 athletes from over 60 countries and are open for participation by athletes who have undergone life-saving transplants of either solid organs or bone marrow.
Cameron, who received a bone marrow transplant in September 2014 to survive an aggressive form of leukaemia, only took up badminton when rehabilitating in the Summer of 2015, catching the eye of the GB selectors after winning a bronze medal in his age category at the British Transplant Games in 2016.
Host city Malaga put on a fantastic festival of sport at a variety of world class venues over the course of the week-long Games. The badminton tournament was one of the final events and was held in a magnificent and thankfully air-conditioned 11,000 seat arena. There were 9 courts in constant use to get through all the singles events on the Friday and the doubles and mixed doubles on the Saturday.
After a fantastic competition in the age 15-17 men's singles Cameron won through to meet the defending World champion in an all-GB final without losing a single game. The final started as a tense affair but after the nerves settled, Cameron went on to win the gold with an assured 21-9, 21-13 victory.
The following day saw the junior men's doubles event and another closely contested tournament. Cameron and his partner suffered a single, narrow, defeat to the number 1 seeds but it was good enough to claim the silver medal on an all-GB podium.
Although selected as a junior, Cameron had also been entered in the senior men's doubles and open mixed doubles events so it was a busy final day of competition. As Cameron will be a senior when the next World Transplant Games take place in the UK in 2019, he saw this as a good opportunity to size up the competition! A creditable second place in their qualifying group in the men's doubles was a good start, but one of the highlights of the day was in the mixed doubles where Cameron and his partner won through to the last 16 before losing a nail biting encounter, 21-20 in the deciding third game.
Being new to Transplant Sport, the Games were an incredible experience and celebration of life. It is remarkable to think that every one of the 2,000+ athletes is only alive because of a transplant made possible by selfless donation. It is a great honour to be selected to represent your country and winning a gold medal was beyond expectations, but if Cameron's participation in the Games raises awareness of transplantation and results in only one person signing up to a donor register, then that will be the greatest success of all.
If you feel inspired to sign up to a donor register, more information can be found on the following links:
Massive congratulations go to Cameron from everyone at Crewe and District. Dad, Carl, has done a great job of supporting and encouraging Cameron through what must have been a difficult period and is as proud as punch of him. Well done Carl. Now as you can see - if you end up playing against Cameron, don't go soft, he'll slaughter you. Good luck with the season Cameron and hope to see you in Junior League.