The World Transplant Games (WTG) is the biggest sporting event worldwide for transplant patients. Between 15 and 21 April, athletes from 45 countries participated in 17 different sports. In addition to the competitive aspect, there were also more accessible options, such as darts. Led by Transplantoux (TPX) Belgium, the 20-strong Belgian delegation participated in cycling, athletics, fast walking, tennis, bowling, darts, and triathlon. The result was impressive: the Belgian participants won no less than 20 medals (7x gold, 6x silver, 7x bronze) as well as a number of another share of places of honour, putting Belgium positively on the map.
In addition to sporting objectives the World Transplant Games Federation (WTGF) also raises awareness of the importance of organ donation. Raf Dubois, now project manager and country representative TPX, underwent a liver transplant 20 years ago: “It is about the experience and the promotion of organ donation, and shows that people who have undergone a transplant are definitely still able of putting up great performances in sports. For most athletes in the group these were the first World Games, making it difficult to assess the level. We did not expect the Belgian team would do so well. In addition to the event it is also a unique experience: you meet people from all over the world that are participating to honour their donor in one way or another. Transplanted athletes like to dedicate their achievement to their anonymous deceased donor.”
The games show that people who have undergone a transplant are definitely still able to of putting up great performances in sports.Raf Dubois
The World Games will be organised in Leuven in 2027.
Are interested in participating? Make sure to contact Transplantoux. The aim of the organisation and the world games is to get everyone moving after a transplant or during dialysis, each at their own level and at their own speed. All TPX members are welcome at the general and specific preparation of the WTG.
Transplantoux was established in 2008 when the kidney transplant patient had dreams of climbing Mont Ventoux by bike. Prof. dr. Diethard Monbaliu, specialist abdominal transplant surgery, promised to come along if Lucien were to really climb the mountain. From this inspiring experience a real project was born: every two year, this challenge is organised by enthusiastic transplant patient and the people close to them. The name Transplantoux comes from the fusion between Transplantation + Ventoux. Transplantoux also organises a a wide range of easy access sports and socio-cultural activities for everyone directly or indirectly involved in organ transplantation. Since 2020 TPX represents the Belgian delegation at the WTGF which organises the games.