World Transplant Games to take centre stage in Australia
The World Transplant Games Federation (WTGF) today formally announced that Perth, Australia, would host the 23rd World Transplant Games in April, 2023.
The announcement coincided with the formal announcement by the Australian Government’s Minister for Sport, Senator Richard Colbeck.
Minister Colbeck confirmed that the Australian Government would provide $600,000 to help Transplant Australia to host the Games.
WTGF President and CEO of Transplant Australia, Chris Thomas, thanked the Australian Government for its commitment to helping to bring the world’s largest awareness event for the gift of life to Australia.
“Senator Colbeck and the Minister responsible for organ and tissue donation, The Hon. Minister Mark Coulton, are strong supporters of Transplant Australia’s mission to promote donation and help recipients lead a full and active life,” Mr. Thomas said.
The World Transplant Games will be staged in Perth from April 15 to 21, 2023. It will bring up to 3,000 transplant athletes, their families and supporters together for a week celebrating the ultimate gift – the gift of life.
Mr. Thomas said Perth would be an attractive host city with its climate, modern sporting facilities and excellent health care services.
“Transplant recipients with their lowered immune status have taken lockdown from COVID-19 extremely seriously. We know these special athletes are yearning to get out on to the sporting field again. Hosting the Games in Perth will ensure that’s done with their safety and health as the first priority,” Mr. Thomas said.
“We know everyone around the world are waiting anxiously for the success of the coronavirus vaccines. Recipients are no different. We are confident that we will have successfully navigated through this pandemic and, by 2023, recipients will be able to travel to Perth with confidence.”
The Games, usually held every two years, will be the first since Newcastle, England, hosted the Games in 2019. Houston, Texas, was due to host the 2021 edition but withdrew because of the pandemic.
The WTGF Board of Trustees in August last year (2020) voted unanimously to award the Games to Perth. The WTGF and Transplant Australia have waited until the look was more promising before making the announcement.
The Games are open to those who have received, heart, lung, liver, kidney, pancreas, stem cells and bone marrow transplants.
They were first staged in Portsmouth, England in 1978 and have grown into the largest single event for donation and transplantation across the world.
While the Games is the flagship for the WTGF, it also undertakes several other wellbeing programs, including Fit for Life!, Refit for Life and the extremely successful Billion Steps Challenge.
The Games have been held on the continents of Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Africa and Australia. This will be the third time the Games have been staged in Australia with previous Games in Sydney in 1997 and the Gold Coast in 2009.
The Commonwealth Department of Sport and the Commonwealth Organ & Tissue Authority are two major sponsors already locked in. In 2021 other sponsors will be announced.
About the WTGF: The WTGF exists to promote organ donation and support transplant recipients around the world. It has more than 70 member countries and is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as a Multi-Sports Organisation. It is also an Associate Member of the Global Association for International Sporting Federations.
About Transplant Australia: Transplant Australia is the national charity for organ donation and transplantation, is a DonateLife Partner and is recognized by Sport Australia as a National Sporting Organisation with a Disability.
About the World Transplant Games: The Games are held every two years and have two objectives – to promote organ donation and the need for communities to commit to saving others – and to encourage transplant recipients to lead active and healthy lives.