A 12-YEAR-old girl who received a liver transplant when she was just six months old is on her way Down Under to represent Britain in an international sporting event.

Erin McIlvaney, of Biggar, will play in the badminton singles and doubles competitions at the World Transplant Games in Perth later this month.

The youngster, who was born with the rare liver disease biliary atresia, was selected based on her performance at the British Transplant Games in Leeds last summer.

And she has been training hard ever since.

Together with parents Jamie and Kirstin and younger brother Owen, eight, she is heading to Singapore and then Melbourne, before arriving in Perth for the start of the games on April 14.

She said: “It feels like a really exciting adventure. I’m really looking forward to meeting others in the British team and competitors from other countries.”

The rest of the family are just as excited. Mum Kirstin added: “It is incredible to think how far Erin has come since her transplant. She is going to make the most out of the amazing opportunities transplant sport has brought.”

Since Erin’s diagnosis, the family have raised more than £35,000 for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation, the UK charity which supports families affected by childhood liver disease.

Chief executive Rebecca Cooper said: "This is a tremendous achievement. I’m sure there was a time when Erin’s parents would not have thought that this could be possible.

“Erin is a true inspiration to any child born with liver disease and we cannot wait to hear how she gets on. Go Erin!”