A WINCHESTER schoolgirl will represent Great Britain at the World Transplant Games in Malaga, Spain.

Elspeth French, had a life-saving liver transplant 12 years ago, and is looking forward to the games.

Elspeth, 14, of Main Road, Littleton, who goes to Kings' School, said: "I am very excited to be representing my country at the World Transplant Games. I have been training hard since my selection to try to perform at my best in my chosen events of breaststroke and butterfly swimming and athletics."

The team, which will be the largest ever, comprises 200 athletes, including 20 juniors, 10 live donors, and 200+ supporters, These athletes, have all survived either a heart, lung, kidney, pancreas, liver, small bowel or bone marrow transplant.

The World Transplant Games, take place every two years, and are supported by the International Olympic Committee.

Lynne Holt, Team Manager said: “We aim to exceed the 127 Gold medals won at the World Transplant Games in 2015, and to bring home the Trophy for the best team!

"These athletes certainly deserve the same recognition as the recent Olympic and Para Olympic Games, Inspite of the constant training, fitting in work, school, exams, publicity and hospital clinic appointments, these athletes receive no government support, and have to raise the £1,500+ themselves. Sadly, many could not accept their place on the team, because of the heavy financial burden. The team are supported by management, coaches, captains and a medical/physio team, all who are volunteers and are also self-financing.

"However, their motivation to be ‘Fit for Life’, the opportunity to represent their country, celebrate life and in doing so, paying tribute to their donors who gave them life, is the goal. The experience will ultimately be a rewarding one for the athletes, the supporters and the management team!”

Elspeth’s dad John added: “Not only are these athletes ambassadors for our country, but they are also representing the charity, Transplant Sport, and hope to raise awareness here in the UK and globally, of the need for more people to sign on to the Organ Donor Register and discuss their wishes with their family and friends. Elspeth was given the gift of life by her donor and wants to do what she can to help ensure others needing a lifesaving transplant are given the same opportunity.”