An inspirational gym member is achieving sporting success all over the world, thanks to support from leisure operator BPL.
52-year-old Glen Taylor who lives on Beeston Square, Athersley, represents Great Britain in squash at events such as the British Transplant Games and World Transplant Games.
After being diagnosed with kidney failure, in 2006, Glen was given six months to live and managed to stay on dialysis for 10 months.
After being placed on the European Emergency Transplant List, a match was found and Glen received a new kidney and pancreas from a donor in July 2007. This re-enforced to him the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, so he started getting more into fitness.
BPL has supported Glen since 2013 through the FANS scheme, after he approached them to see if they could offer him any help with his training.
The FANS (Free Access for National Sports People) Scheme was established to provide support to the country’s leading talented and elite sportspeople.
It aims to give national level and above sports men and women free access to leisure and sports facilities to help with their training.BPL supports Glen by providing free membership, which includes access to the operator’s gym and swimming facilities.
Glen does swimming, tennis and squash and has won numerous medals in the British Transplant Games, as well as competing in world and European events.
His sporting skills have taken him to events in countries including Australia, South Africa, Sweden and Spain and to the World Transplant Games, which take place every two years.
Glen plays squash at Dorothy Hyman and uses the running track and gym. He also uses the gym and swimming facilities at Royston Leisure Centre, attending BPL centres five or six times a week.
Glen attributes much of his success to the support he has received from Barnsley Premier Leisure: “I don’t think I would have been able to get to the level of fitness I have done without the use of BPL’s swim and gym facilities. It has been an enormous help.
“I don’t have to go out of Barnsley to train as everything I need is here. I can’t praise them highly enough.”
Martin Prest, Facility Manager at BPL’s Dearneside & Dorothy Hyman Sports Centres said: “BPL are proud to have been involved in the rehabilitation of Glen’s health and wellbeing.
“Glen was awarded a FANS membership a couple of years ago, which enables him to access fitness suites, swimming, squash etc for a full year. I was the Manager at Royston Leisure Centre at the time and I know Glen utilised the membership to enhance his fitness which improved his performance when competing in his chosen and selected events.”
“BPL would like to wish Glen continued success and above all enjoyment in the sports activities he trains and competes in.”
Glen is also keen to raise awareness of signing the organ donor register and uses the platform which sport has given him to encourage people to think about it and be vocal about their intentions.
“Talk to your friends and family about it. Look at what it did for me. It’s so important to sign the organ donor register. It is a difficult conversation to have but talk to your family.”
Glen Taylor, medal winner at last year’s British Transplant Games