Hazel Wilkinson joined Wey Valley Swimming Club in 2004 and swam competitively for several years before having to give up due
to kidney failure. She became very ill at the beginning of school year nine, having suffered with headaches for many years.
She wasdiagnosed with kidney failure at that time and spent some weeks in Guys hospital. At the beginning of year ten both her
kidneys had to be removed and she went on dialysis. Eventually she was well enough to come home and dialysed at home for nine
months. She felt very unwell for most of this period and hence missed most of year ten at school. In June 2003, to cut a long
story short, she received a kidney transplant; her mother was the donor. She very soon started to feel much better but the
first few months were very difficult, with frequent hospital visits. Eight weeks after the transplant she did a 2-mile
sponsored swim to raise money for the Ronald Macdonald House (where she stayed for six weeks after the transplant).
In July 2004 Hazel and several other patients from Guys took part in the British Transplant Games at Norwich University.
Hazel entered three swimming events, the badminton and 100m running. She won gold medals in all the swimming events, a gold
for the badminton and bronze for the running. In September she was told that she had been selected to represent Britain at
the World Transplant Games in Canada in 2005. The World Transplant Games
have been in existence for over 25 years when the very first 'Transplant Olympics' were held in Portsmouth in 1978
and were the brainchild of a pioneering transplant surgeon, Maurice Slapak, to demonstrate the quality of life of transplant
patients following surgery. The competitors are unique in that each of them is alive and well as a result of a successful
organ transplant. They are also all on life-long drugs which are necessary following a transplant. It was a great achievement
for about 20 teenagers who represented Britain - two from Guys Hospital and Hazel's pround Mum said "I was a
spectator at the British games I can assure you it is such a worthwhile event. As well as being a huge boost for the children
and teenagers it does a lot to get people thinking about organ donation and hopefully registering as a donor."
As part of its Swim21 accreditation Wey Valley is committed to developing disability swimming
in the local community and we are part of the Surrey Disability Swimming Action Group.
The following article appeared in the November 13,1981 edition of the Surrey Advertiser.
Thanks to Cherry DeGeer (nee Scott) for letting us know the date. Cherry was one of the original 13 founder members and says: "
I was 13 at the time but still remember events vividly and I remained active in the club for a further 5 or so years until
I moved away from Guildford."
Coach Irving Dixon is pictured centre in the article photo.
"Wey Valley swimming Club's men's medley relay team secured the biggest win in the Club's history in the Surrey
They compleyed a steady progression to the top when they swept home to win the title at Richmond pool after finishing second
last year and third the year before.
For the team of Malcolm Kindred, Tom Zbaraski, Mike Johnson and Tony Baker it was the culmination of five years effort.
They were drawn in the toughest heat and came out of it well to take pole position, lane three, for the final.
Kindred, normally a breaststroker, led off on the backstroke leg and handed over with a slight lead from Epsom and District.
Zbaraski held on to the lead before Johnson took over for the butterfly leg.
He had to work very hard to hold off ex-British record holder John Mills of Spencer but managed to give Baker a lead to take
into the freestyle leg.
The finish was almost a blanket with four teams. Wey Valley came out narrow winners from Epsom, Croydon Amphibians and Spencer.
The Wey Valley team took four seconds off their heat time and deserved a win that was the undoubted highlight of their
One of the team, Mike Johnson, has kindly provided a picture of his
medal from this event along with his club membership cards.
One day in August 1979 a small band of swimmers met in a pub and hatched a plan in support of coach Irving Dixon
to form a new swimming club by spliting from Guildford City. After a few rounds Wey Valley Swimming Club was formed,
and the rest as they is history.
One of the founder members, Michael Johnson, has kindly provided pictures of his two
membership cards; 1979 Guidford City and 1980 Wey Valley so verifying the date of Wey Valleys formation.
If you have any history of Wey Valley Swimming club then please contact our chairman Stuart Galvin....we'd
love to hear from you.