6 June 2013
There are 50 days to go for the 50 countries that will contest the 2013 World Transplant Summer Games in Durban from 28 July to 4 August.
The Games are the biggest organ donor awareness event in the world and aim to offer hope to those awaiting transplants and encourage the public to become donors, by showing the difference that organ transplants can make to the lives of young and old.
They’re a celebration of the human spirit, giving individuals with previously life- threatening illnesses, the chance to compete in a high-level sports event and prove that they can not only lead normal, fulfilling lives, but push the boundaries of their physical endurance.
Competitors in the Games have to be transplant recipients of either solid organs or bone marrow.
World Transplant Games Federation President, Olivier Coustere, commented; “Countries that have hosted the event have experienced a 30 percent or higher increase in organ donation rates.”
South Africans wishing to register as organ donors can visit www.odf.org.za
The World Transplant Games will unfold at various venues across Durban, with the majority of events planned for the Kings Park sporting precinct, including at the Kings Park Athletics Stadium where a new track has been flown in from Germany to upgrade the facility.
Over 50 events in athletics, swimming, tennis, squash, golf, volleyball and bowling will be contested, while cycling and road races will take place in the city.
The largest contingent of athletes will come from Great Britain and Northern Ireland (298), followed by 142 from the United States of America, 136 athletes from South Africa and 110 from The Netherlands.
The smallest teams will come from Nepal, Japan, Slovakia and Kenya, with only one athlete from each of those countries.
At the 2011 competition in Gothenburg, Sweden, 47 South Africans participated, winning 17 gold, 17 silver and 14 bronze medals.
Among the South African competitors who will be defending titles in Durban are: Daniel Matsoso (5km road race, 800m and 1 500m), Lourens Schultz (javelin world record holder), Constance Sithebe (ball throw), Edward Ormond (squash), Anil Balmakund (squash), Cathy de Beer (squash), Tracey Jegels (3km power walk), Kosie Laubscher (golf), Heilie Uys (golf), Robyn Emslie (lawn bowls) and Stephan van den Berg (discus).
Four South Africans currently hold World Transplant Games world records.
The event is expected to generate R50-million for Durban.
Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material