Barracudas Triumph at World Games

Published: Wednesday, July 12, 2017


Pam Lane and Matthew Burrows are two transplant athletes who are also members of Leyland Barracudas masters swim team. They both competed at the 2016 British Transplant Games in Liverpool where they secured their places on Team GB and Northern Ireland at the 2017 World Transplant Games.

Swimming took place on Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th June with athletes from 52 countries taking part. Matt and Pam have both performed with absolute class.

Never having been a competitive athlete before her transplant Pam secured medals in three of the 50-59 years womens’ events - 100m Backstroke where she took the Silver; 50m Breaststroke Bronze; and 50m Backstroke Silver. She finished just outside the medals in two of her races with a 5th in the 50m Freestyle and 6th in the 100m Freestyle. She has done herself and her donor proud and just proves, “it is never too late to learn”.

Matthew was an age group swimmer in his younger days before his kidneys began to fail so was keen to re-kindle his former sporting success and boy has he done that this week! He competed in the 40-49 age group where there was tough competition from around the world, but with his closest rival being former World record holder Matthew Castle from the USA. Matthew wasn’t going to be out swum, world record holder or not. He took Gold in all five of his individual events and four of them were in Transplant Games World Record Times. These new World Record Times were in:

  • 50m Freestyle in a time of 28.58;
  • 100m Backstroke in 1:16.12;
  • 100m Breaststroke in 1:24.62;
  • 50m Backstroke in 34.64.

In his 50m Breaststroke he took Gold but missed the World Record by the narrowest of margins, just .19 of a second! No doubt he’ll rectify this next time.

Matt also helped lead Team GB & NI to victory in the 4 x 50m Freestyle Relay and the 4 x 50m Individual Medley relay making his total medal tally over the two days 7 Gold. The Michael Phelps of transplant swimming!

Their performances helped take Team GB and Northern Ireland to the head the medal table on Day Three of the Games. They finished streaks ahead of their nearest rivals the USA, who gained a total of 144 medals compared to a total of 360 for Team GB & NI. 

Pam and Matthew are both very clear that without the forethought and generosity of their donors and their families they would not have been able to dream of coming home as World champion-ship medalists. So if you want to give someone the gift of life you can find out more about organ donation here