On Monday the 6th of June the Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA) with the South African Transplant Sports Association (SATSA) hosted the farewell ceremony for the 17 Transplant athletes from the Western Cape that are to be part of the 48 athlete team that are to represent South Africa in Gothenburg, Sweden from the 17th to the 24th of June.
For over 20 years the World Transplant Games Federation (WTGF) has been staging international sporting events for transplant athletes as a way to demonstrate the success of transplant surgery all over the world, and to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation. Organ donation has increase by 30% in those countries where the Games have been held in the past. The ceremony at the SSISA saw four of the 17 athletes receiving their national colours for the first time, with inspirational addresses from Professor Tim Noakes and the Minister of Sport and Recreation for the Western Cape; Dr Ivan Meyer. Gill Taylor from the Macsteel Maestro programme and Stan Henkeman, the Chairman of the WP Transplant Sports Association also took to the podium to commend and acknowledge the strength and dedication that the athletes have displayed, and encouraged the team to visualise their goals, control the controllables and represent our country in a way that only South African know how to.
The courage and determination in these 17 athletes was electric and show ways to motivate and move all that were at the ceremony. From the SSISA we wish all of the athletes the best of luck and we look forward to welcoming them all home on their successful return.