Members Statement – Diversity in Leadership Group to take Federation Forward

The President of the World Transplant Games Federation (WTGF), Chris Thomas, today announced a vibrant and diverse leadership group to take the World Transplant Games into the future.

Following on from the recent Board elections at the Federation’s General Assembly, the WTGF Executive has now updated its Standing Committee structure and appointed chairs of each of the five Committees.

For the first time in the WTGF’s history, three of the Standing Committees – Sport, Education and Awareness, and Medical – will be chaired by women.

  • It is the first time in the history of the WTGF that the Sports Committee will be chaired by inspirational kidney recipient, Judit Berente, from Hungary leading a committee that includes trustees Colin White (Ireland), Ashleigh Duran (United States), Dr Yuhji Marui (Japan) and co-opted member Holly Tyrrell from Australia.
  • Education & Awareness will be chaired by Dr Edith Alejandro Martin Pinto from Colombia. She will be supported by Gudrun Manuwald-Seemuller (Germany), Ashleigh Duran and Gerardo Reyna (Spain).
  • The Medical Committee will continue to be chaired by Dr Ka Foon Chau (Hong Kong) with Dr Paul Harden (Great Britain & Northern Ireland) and Dr Yuhji Marui in support.

Mr Thomas also thanked Willie Uys (South Africa) for his continued chairing of the Governance and Membership Standing Committee. He will be supported by Gudrun Manuwald-Seemuller, Colin White and Gerardo Reyna.

The Executive has also formed a new Standing Committee to specifically look after the key events of the Summer and Winter Games. This will be chaired by Treasurer Colin White with Honorary Secretary Liz Schick (Switzerland) and trustees Judit Berente, Gudrun Manuwald-Seemuller, Gerardo Reyna and Anders Billstrom (Sweden) as committee members.

New trustee, liver recipient Ashleigh Duran from the USA, will chair the Athletes Advisory Commission with support from WTGF Executive Sports Manager, Gary Green.

Mr Thomas said it was crucial the Federation maintained close links with transplant athletes to ensure the continued professionalism of our sports. The Athletes Advisory Commission plays a significant role in ensuring every athlete’s voice is heard.

“Equally having three female trustees from Hungary, Colombia and Hong Kong head up key committees ensures a diversity of opinion and representation particularly in relation to culture and language.”

Ashleigh Duran and Liz Schick will also take on a special sub-committee focused on Youth. Gerardo Reyna will head up a Marketing Sub-Committee.

Anders Billstrom and Gareth Wiltshire (co-opted) will continue to develop the WTGF’s Research interests.

Finally, Dr Paul Harden will chair the World Transplant Football Commission. He will be supported by former trustee, Andre Lassooij (Netherlands), Matty Hempstalk (Australia) and Bob Rietbergen (Netherlands).

“I am particularly pleased Andre will continue with his passion and dedication on the football commission. His skills are too good to be lost to helping his fellow recipients,” Mr Thomas said.

He thanked each of the trustees for their continued service to the WTGF and the worldwide transplant community.

“I am pleased to have Honorary Secretary, Liz Schick, and Treasurer, Colin White, re-elected to their executive roles by the Board. The three of us are extremely pleased that we have a vibrant and energetic board, that has both youth and experience, to take us forward.

“All trustees volunteer their time with the express objective of helping to develop sports, physical activity and education programmes for transplant recipients. We are committed to reaching out further to ensure no matter where a recipient lives, they know the Federation cares in helping them to lead an active and healthy life,” Mr Thomas concluded.

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