I became involved with the Western Cape Transplant Sports Association in 2011 when I was put on the waiting list for a heart transplant. At the 2013 AGM which was held in February 2014, I was elected as Vice-Chairperson under the leadership of my great friend, the late Stan Henkeman. At the 2014 AGM in October 2014, I was elected as Chairperson.
As Chairperson of the Western Cape region for the past 6 ½ years, I have good reason to express my heartfelt thanks to the Management Committee, members, and friends of the Association. We have accomplished much together in these years that passed too quickly.
It is with some pride that we can look back and realise that the Western Cape region has moved a long way to achieve these objectives:
- Management Committee of 10 includes 5 women and 2 of colour.
- Our membership has grown from 89 members in 2014 to 186 active members at the end of 2020.
- We became a member of the Western Cape Provincial Sports Confederation
As a Management Committee, we have also hosted one National Games in 2014.
We established a Website complete with our domain name https://westerncapetransplantsports.co.za/
We had meetings that encouraged the free exchange of ideas, included enjoyable social gatherings, fundraising programs like golf days, cheese and wine functions, and most importantly accomplished the business of the Association. A big thank you to the hardworking committee.
Critical to our success was the business of the Association. We reaped the harvest of men and women who were willing to serve and were elected to the Management Committee who met regularly to make the management decisions that allow us to run so effectively. Thanks to all of the committee members who served so faithfully.
Sadly, we lost some friends along the way. Early in 2019, Chantal Davids and a few months after her we lost one of our stalwart athletes, Kosie Laubscher and a month later a previous Vice Chair, Sean Adriaanse. In December 2019 we lost Andrew Melck, a promising athlete who never had the chance to compete. And just this past December 2020, we mourned the passing of our National Chairman and previous Chairman of Western Cape, Stan Henkeman due to complications from COVID-19. We were still in shock when a Management Committee member, Winston Balada also passed away from COVID-19 complication. All these members earned a place in our hearts.
The COVID-19 situation is still very concerning, and the second wave was harsher than the first wave. The risk to our athletes getting infected and die are very real. We have resolved not to host any activities and participation until it is expertly advised by the health authorities and our organisation deems it safe to do so, that it is medically safe to host events. We will continue to have monthly online meetings to discuss progress and the planning of future events and participation without risking the lives of our members.
Once expertly advised, we will then take responsibility to assess and decide on the way forward. We encourage members to keep fit to be ready when it is safe to compete again.
I want to welcome our new Chairperson, Vivian de Klerk. No stranger to the transplant community and the Management Committee, Vivian has been the Vice-Chairperson since 2016, and she could not be more committed to upholding the tradition of excellent leadership at WCTSA. I would also like to congratulate Rentia le Roux who has been elected as the new Vice-Chairperson.
I would neglect my duty and responsibility if I did not again repeat the importance of our effort to adhere to the transformation policy of Government.
We wish to thank the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport for the funding we receive from them every year. In 2021 we have also received a grant from the National Lotteriees Commission, and we would like to place on record our appreciation to the Commission for the allocation of this grant.
Finally, I want to thank all of you: our members who provide the lifeblood of WCTSA.
Thank you, committee, members, and friends of the Western Cape transplant community. I would also like to thank my wife Lynn who has been a wonderful support and sounding board.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve a Region that deserves to grow and prosper and will grow and prosper with your continued participation.
Immediate Past Chairperson, Western Cape Transplant Sports Association