From Activity Referral to World Transplant Games

Published on: March 7th 2023

A Northampton woman, who underwent a liver transplant over a decade ago and who trains in the town, will shortly be heading to Perth, Australia to represent Great Britain at the World Transplant Games.

Karen Rockell had an auto-immune condition which attacked her liver meaning she underwent a liver transplant in October 2010. Her training includes two one-hour swimming sessions a week at Trilogy Active’s Cripps Recreation Centre as well as land fitness such as circuit training to build arm and leg strength every day.

“I swam competitively as a teenager, was a county champion for a while and then did masters swimming.” Karen said. “Following my liver transplant, I suffered a heart attack and as a result went to cardiac rehab which enabled me to regain my fitness quite quickly.”

“Once completed I was then able to join a gym through the Activity on Referral scheme and started swimming again which led to my taking part in my first British Transplant Games in 2013.”

The World Transplant Games takes place every two years and will be held this year in Perth, Australia from the 15-23 April 2023.

“I am delighted that Trilogy Active is supporting Karen is her amazing endeavour.” said John Fletcher, Managing Director of Trilogy Active who deliver a Talented Athlete Scheme which supports Karen’s training with free membership. “To remain fit and help overcome the side effects of the drugs she has to take to stop rejecting her transplant is amazing in itself but to reach a level where she represents the UK on a global stage is truly inspiring.”

Karen will swim in 50 metre butterfly, freestyle, backstroke, breast stroke and the 100 metre freestyle. She also represented Team GB at the World Transport Games in 2017 (Spain) and 2019 (Newcastle) as well as the European Transplant and Dialysis Games in 2022.

She also volunteers with Trilogy Active as a Wellbeing Walk Leader and leads the Duston and St. Crispin’s weekly walks with her husband.

“There is a lot of hard work ahead of me but it is very exciting to be heading to the other side of the world to represent my town and my nation.” Karen continued. “I also hope that people reading this will be inspired to recognise the ever continuing importance of organ donation and go to Home – NHS Organ Donation to find out more.”