About the Games

The spirit of the Australian Transplant Games is to encourage individuals to be involved in a sporting competition, and to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. Many competitors previously may not have been able to engage in any sort of sporting activity due to their illness. The quality and determination of competitors has led to many participants being selected to represent Australia at the World Transplant Games, held every other two years, with Australia continually being one of the top five nations competing.

The Transplant Games are a fantastic celebration of the gift of life that transplantation is and are centred around saying thanks for organ donation and promoting transplantation to Australia and the World.

While we have some elite Athletes that attend the Games, they are by no means an elite sporting competition. The Games are about participation – getting involved and having a go! And, equally as important, they are a chance to meet new people and be a part of the transplant community.

The Latest – Australian Transplant Games Media Launch

On Thursday 5th March, Transplant Australia held the Official Media Launch of the 15th Australian Transplant Games in Western Sydney. NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research, The Hon. Jillian Skinner, announced that Western Sydney will host the Australian Transplant Games in 2016. Transplant Australia and NSW Health are to embark on a program to help close the ‘consent gap’ in organ and tissue donation and the Transplant Games in Western Sydney provide the perfect platform to reach out to a diverse community.

The Media Launch recognised the Games as one of Australia’s most inspirational sporting events demonstrating the ‘living proof’ that organ and tissue donation saves lives. Recipients who attended the launch wore shirts denoting the extra years of life they have received because of someone else’s generosity. These Games will uniquely focus on the extra years of life received and the accomplishments and successes within that time that would not have been possible without receiving a transplant.

Speaking at the event was Valasia Papadakis, her daughter Stephania waited 20 months for a liver transplant, “Stephania is fighting fit instead of ‘fighting for life’ the change in her life has been simply amazing. Every breathe and step she now takes she takes in honour of her organ donor. ”

Ultimately, these Games serve to highlight the enormously positive effects of organ transplant and donation, and will help the recipients achieve their optimum health goals. Transplant Australia hopes that all Australians see the gift that is organ and tissue donation and register their donation decision and sign on to save a life.

To see photos from the event please click here.

History of the Games

The Australian Transplant Games were first held over three days in Melbourne in 1988 with 150 recipient competitors competing in Tennis, Golf, Table Tennis, Lawn Bowls and for children, Quoits.

Thereafter, the Australian Transplant Games have been held every two years in different cities in different states or territories of Australia. The Games now last for an entire week and cover a multitude of sports and activities.

The 14th Australian Transplant Games were held in 2014, in Melbourne and offered 26 sporting events and many social events to competitors. The recent Games were the fifth time they have been held in Victoria, and are returning to Melbourne for the first time since The Games begun in 1988.

The next Games

The 2016 Australia Games will be held in Western Sydney. With Penrith as the Games Hub, the Games will be a family friendly week long celebration of the gift that transplantation is.

The Games will feature a comprehensive junior program (complete with a trip to Wet’n’Wild) to keep the little ones happy and a range of sports for adults. At these Games we will be introducing the Team Transplant Trialthlon – as well as some other team sports.

We know it is still early days but these Games are already shaping up to be the best Games yet (no, we don’t say that every year!).

So get your annual leave forms in now and start practicing those volleyball skills (QLD we’re looking at you!).