The World Transplant Games Federation(WTGF) was started in 1978 in Portsmouth, England with 99 transplant recipients from the UK, France, Germany, Greece and the USA. This federation became a worldwide organization with representation from more than 60 countries that celebrates successful transplantation and the gift of life through unique and inspiring events – namely the summer and winter World Transplant Games.
Our principle aim is to raise public awareness of the importance and benefits of organ donation by demonstrating the health and fitness that can be achieved post-transplant. Equally, we aim to encourage all recipients to remain fit and healthy post-transplant. We understand that receiving a transplant is a major transition in the journey of life and we have introduced various education programs to help all recipients live life to the fullest. Another important purpose of WTG is to educate the public on the principles of organ donation and to highlight the worldwide shortage of donor organs.
We are recognized by the International Olympic Committee and actively promote the benefits of sport at all levels and fair play for transplant recipients. Our athletes are our ambassadors for the value of organ donation and give hope to people on transplant waiting lists.
The World Transplant Games give recipients the motivation to strive towards full rehabilitation through exercise, camaraderie and healthy living. They also provide them with a way of saying ‘thank you’ to those who made it all possible – the donors, their families, health professionals, researchers and carers …. Without them, there would be nobody on the starting line.
Recently, we started “Billion Steps Challenge” as an activity of ‘Fit for the Life’. The challenge was designed to alleviate the fear of movement following transplantation and thank to the organ donor. All member countries and team members will join this challenge to initiate better rehabilitation and take the first step in getting back to a life where physical activity and movement is normal. By participating this challenge, we are sure that all transplant recipients can be rehabilitated from bed of sedentary life to active vigorous social life. They can return to family life, to their work place and school.
Some of our athlete’s standards are high and actually, they got medals in Olympic Games, but we have been more emphasized about their participation to WTG and requested to show their recovering from desperate ill state than medal color. The Nicholas cup which held during the winter game is a momorizing event under the name of child donor Nicholas from 1994.
In summary, the activity of WTGF will definitely help the recipient to rehabilitate by early exercise, physical activity and sports games. And also will help mental health from possible depression by organ transplantation.