AN 11-year-old girl has overcome health problems to win gold at the British Transplant Games.

Courtney Atkinson almost had to miss the competition, held in Norwich at the weekend, through ill health.

But she rose to the occasion and surprised everyone by winning a gold medal in badminton.

Courtney, from Chilton, County Durham, first suffered kidney failure in May 2001, after which she received 18 months of dialysis treatment.

She received a replacement kidney from her father, Gary, in February last year. The operation was a success, but she became ill again earlier this year.

Courtney, due to start at Sedgefield Community College next month, entered five events at the games with a team from the Royal Victoria Infirmary, in Newcastle.

She finished her latest course of treatment two weeks ago and was only cleared to compete at the games two days before they started.

In the event, she won all three of her badminton matches in her age group.

He mother, Jane, travelled to Norwich with her daughter. Mr Atkinson and Courtney's brothers, Ryan, eight, and Ben, five, arrived later to cheer her on.

Mrs Atkinson said: "We were over the moon that they allowed her to go, so to come back with the gold was just amazing."