28 Apr Media Release: New President for the World Transplant Games Federation
Honorary Secretary Liz Schick has been elected as the new WTGF President by the Board of Trustees at the recent Games in Perth, Australia.
Following the General Assembly of the WTGF during last week’s World Transplant Games in Perth, Australia, the Board of Trustees met and elected Honorary Secretary Liz Schick as the new President following the incumbent President, Chris Thomas, stepping down after serving in the role for eight years.
Under the amendment to the Articles of Association, carried by the General Assembly in 2017, the President may serve two consecutive terms of four years each.
Mrs Schick, a liver recipient from Switzerland who has served on the Board since 2011 and held the position of Honorary Secretary since 2015, is well known throughout the transplant and transplant sports community and especially loved for founding and running the TACKERS ski camp for transplanted children in her home village of Anzere. Liz has strongly advocated organ donation since receiving her transplant 25 years ago. Liz also holds a position at Swisstransplant, working to help create awareness of the need for organ donors, and has been competing in the Summer and Winter World Transplant Games since 2001.
“The transplant community is my family, and together we will continue to celebrate the gift of life and thank our donors by holding inspiring events for the transplant community. Most importantly, we will create awareness for organ donation and highlight the need to be physically active to keep our transplanted organs as long as possible and for the transplant community’s mental wellbeing. I am extremely grateful to be entrusted in this position and be a voice for the global transplant community.” Liz Schick – WTGF President.
An amendment to the Articles of Association was approved at the 2023 General Assembly of members held in Perth on 19th April 2023 to reform the Executive Board to comprise four members rather than the previous three.
The Executive Board will now be made up of:
- President – Liz Schick
- Vice President – Willie Uys from South Africa, previously Governance and Membership Chair
- Vice President – Gerardo Reyna from Spain, previously Communications Chair
- Treasurer – Colin White from Ireland, continuing in his current position on the Board
The membership also voted in new Board members who will serve for a term of four years:
- Three new trustees joined the Board – Brenda Brown from Canada, Kate Clark from Australia and Dr Samuel Fung from Hong Kong
- Three trustees were returned – Willie Uys from South Africa, Gudrun Manuwald-Seemuller from Germany and Dr Yuhji Marui from Japan
- Three trustees stepped down from the Board, Mr Chris Thomas, WTGF President; Dr Ka Foon Chau, Medical Committee Chair; and Dr Edith Martin, Education Committee Chair.
Chris Thomas was thanked for his pivotal role in serving on the Board since 2009. Since joining the Board, he served four years heading up communications, two years on the executive committee as Treasurer (2013 – 2015) and eight years as President (2015 – 2023). Chris made exceptional advances to the WTGF in multiple areas, being recognised for his contribution to increasing the professionalism of the WTGF and introducing many new programs and events. Chris was acknowledged for his exceptional contributions by being inducted into the Hall of Fame under the “Spirit of Leadership”.
The WTGF also announced that Executive Manager Kim Renyard would take on a new position as CEO of the WTGF. With the new leadership, structure and management changes, the WTGF is well positioned to continue its growth in this new chapter, with a vision to continue to improve the World Transplant Games for all participants. The Federation aims to bring more recognition to donors and donor families and to find ways to reach more countries, break more barriers and ensure that the message of the Gift of Life and organ donation can expand globally, reach more people and bring hope to those waiting for transplants.
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