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Special Report 1
The 2014 Australian Transplant Games By Sandra Brown - Nov 2014
The 2014 Australian Transplant Games were held in the sporting capital of the world. . . Melbourne!
Camberwell Petanque Club hosted the Transplant Games Petanque Singles event on Saturday, 4 October, and we offered a big welcome and our support to all participants and wished them “Happy Petanqueing”.
Over eight days, from 26 September to 4 October, Melbourne hosted athletes and supporters from all over Australia, as well as some international guests - all competing with the same goal - “To celebrate the Gift of Life”. With 24 competitive sports and a range of special events, these Games shaped up to be, not only the nation’s largest single event promoting Organ and Tissue Donation - but, the best Games so far.
warmly welcomed back, each member greeting her as they notice she has returned. A ripple goes through the members...”Belinda's back”. She just resumes playing and competing as one of us, refusing to let her health issues define her.
Recently, at a big petanque tournament on our pistes where Belinda was playing with her husband Graham, she remarked to me that “she can’t see properly and Graham can’t hear clearly” but they joke that between them they have one fully operating set.
Belinda has won medals in numerous events but her favourite event is Petanque, achieving success in that event in one World Games and three Australian Games.
Over the eight days of The Transplant Games 2014, which finished last Saturday 4th October, 806 competitors participated in 21 sporting events, culminating in a Gala dinner at the National Gallery of Victoria where Victoria won the Victor Chang Shield. The Shield is awarded to the State which gains the most medals overall during the Transplant Games.
Belinda competed in Petanque Singles (Silver Medal) & Doubles (Gold Medal), Lawn Bowls Singles & Doubles, Ten Pin Bowls Pairs (Silver Medal) & Sudoku.
Highlights for Belinda were:
1. Catching up with fellow recipients.
2. Walking with participants to Federation Square, where they formed the number 2478 which was the amount of years of extra life participants have enjoyed.
With the imminent arrival of the the Games, our thoughts at Camberwell Petanque Club turned to our member, Belinda Willoughby. A double transplant recipient, Belinda is a much loved member of our Club. We are inspired by her ability to remain ever cheerful and optimistic, despite serious health challenges and setbacks.
When her health brought about a lengthy absences from our Club, she was very
In the opening parade all participants formed a Guard of Honour through which all living donors and donor families walked - this was very moving and emotional with everyone clapping their walk from beginning to end. ⛔
To learn more or register for Organ Donation visit:
or click on the Medicare icon.
The transplant competitors at Camberwell for the Singles Tournament.
Belinda’s first Transplant Games was in Geelong in 2006 and, against all odds, she won the Gold Medal in Petanque Singles - one year after her Pancreas/Kidney transplant and she had never played pétanque before. It was a huge surprise con-sidering she always believed that she could not do anything at all involving physical activity. Probably being a Diabetic since she was aged 9 and losing the sight in one eye, together with limited renal function from the age of 19 didn’t help her cause.
She didn’t look back after that and returned to find her nearest Pétanque Club. She joined Camberwell Pétanque Club and started training for the World Transplant Games in Bangkok, being held the following year.