02 May Media Release: The World Transplant Games Federation – Special Sports Awards
The World Transplant Games Federation has established special sports awards to honor the outstanding athletic achievements at the World Transplant Games:
- The Greatest Gift Donor Family Award
- The Greatest Gift Living Donor Award
- The Inspiration of the Games Award
- Maurice Slapak Award
- The WTGF Outstanding Athlete & Outstanding Junior Athlete Award
- The WTGF Outstanding Team Award
The Greatest Gift Donor Family and Living Donor Award are new awards which honor donor families and living donor athletes who have distinguished themselves competing in donor sports events.
The female recipient of the Donor Family Award was awarded to Carli Bekkering of Canada competing in the road race, swimming and pétanque. The male recipient of the Donor Family Award is Colin Liebmann of Australia, who medaled in swimming and lawn bowls.
The first recipient of the Living Donor Award with 3 bronze medals in the road race, petanque, 100 meters, and a silver in the race walk is Elizabeth Black of Canada. The male recipient of the Living Donor Award with a silver medal in petanque and two gold medals in the 5K run and ball throw is Vijaybahadur Yadav of India.
Another new award created by the Federation is the Inspiration of the Games Award which recognizes someone who has upheld and promoted the spirit of the transplant community at the World Transplant Games. This selection is made by the President and the Trustees of the Federation. The first recipient of The Inspiration of the Games Award was awarded to Robert Fryer from USA.
The following awards are given to recognize excellence in the transplant sports community at the World Transplant Games. Our first award is the Maurice Slapak Award, which is named after one of the founders of the Federation and recognizes excellence in the sport in which he participated—distance running. Dr. Slapak while in university was an outstanding runner and was a training partner of Roger Bannister, the first man to break the 4-minute mile barrier. This award is given to the top men’s and top women’s team in the Games’ Road race event. Congratulations to the men’s team from France and the women’s team from Great Britain Northern Ireland.
The next awards are the WTGF Outstanding Athlete awards. These are awarded to a man and a woman who have been nominated by their team manager and selected by the Judiciary Committee using the following criteria:
- Performance (number of medals won)
- Quality (strength of competition)
- Diversity (achievements in multiple sports)
The WTGF Outstanding Junior Athlete Awards are also awarded to a boy and a girl who have been nominated by their team manager and selected by the Judiciary Committee using the above criteria. In accordance with the Committee’s standard procedure, members of the Judiciary who have athletes nominated from their country cannot participate in the decision process.
Our first award is the boys Outstanding Junior Athlete.
Despite being unable to walk before his first transplant, a few months later he started to play tennis. He has blossomed into a highly skilled racquet sports competitor. He has won gold medals in badminton, squash, table tennis, and tennis. Celebrating 12 years since his transplant, he makes his donor proud every day. The boys Outstanding Junior Athlete Award was awarded to Kristof Polgar of Great Britain Northern Ireland.
Our second award is the girls Outstanding Junior Athlete. This young woman has had a great World Games. She won 5 gold medals in the 50 Backstroke, 100 freestyle, the 50 freestyle, 100 backstroke and the 200 freestyle as well as helping with the relays and setting 4 world records. When she wasn’t swimming, she was cheering on her teammates. For just a 14 year old, her performance has been amazing. In her very first World Games as a junior, the girls Outstanding Athlete Award goes to Cerys O’Connell of Great Britain Northern Ireland.
Our Men’s Outstanding Athlete trains and works very hard to prepare for the World Games. He also encourages, supports and gives pointers to his teammates during their training. He is known as one of his team’s foundations and supports the efforts of everyone. He has been a successful swimmer in past World Games, setting many world records. At these Games in Perth, he competed in 5 swimming events, winning gold in all and breaking Games records, many of which were his own. With gold medals in the 50 freestyle, the 50 butterfly, the 50 backstroke, the 100 freestyle, and the 200 individual medley, and Games best records to match, the Men’s Outstanding Athlete Award was awarded to Grey Brett of Canada.
Our Women’s Outstanding Athlete had an amazing week here in Perth. She competed in a number of sports thus showing her diversity, a major criterion of this Award. In cycling, she won a silver in the 30K road race, and gold in the 10K time trial and the 20K team time trial. This was her first Games as a competitor in cycling. In swimming, she won a relay bronze and gold in the 50 meter breaststroke. In athletics, she won gold in the 400 meters. With one bronze, one silver, and 4 gold medals, the women’s Outstanding Athlete Award was awarded to Michele Daley of Australia.
And finally, it is with pleasure that we award the Outstanding Team Award at the World Transplant Games. This award recognizes a team whose athletes have won the most medals relative to the team size. A minimum of 20 athletes is required for consideration for this Award. The Award is determined by awarding points for each medal earned by athletes at the World Games (3 for gold, 2 for sliver, 1 for bronze), and then by dividing the number of points earned by each team by the number of athletes on the team. This year’s winner had an unbelievable ratio of 5.36 medal points per athlete—that is an average of more than a gold and a silver for every athlete on the team! Congratulations to the entire team from Islamic Republic of Iran.
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