When the World Transplant Games Federation launched the Billion Steps Challenge in October 2020 the aim was to get transplant recipients from all over the world to “walk a billion steps, to the moon and back”. The Western Cape
transplant athletes took on the challenge and by competing in the challenge they are celebrating the gift of life and showing what can be achieved after a lifesaving organ transplant.
The Fit for Life! Billion Steps Challenge is an online exercise challenge that aims to encourage transplant recipients, their family, and friends to get active. Currently there are over 3 200 participants from all over the world taking part in the challenge. South Africa has 41 teams that entered for the challenge. At the end of week seven, a few Western Cape Teams were in the Top 10.
By using the MoveSpring application participant can track their daily physical activities and the data is then translated into daily average steps. Teams are competing in different challenges and with two weeks to go before the challenge ends the Western Cape teams are well on their way to ending the challenge on a high note. The application shows each athlete average steps, total steps, and total minutes active. This is a great way to see how active our athletes are and a way of raising much needed awareness around organ donation and transplantation in South Africa.
The Billion Steps Challenge comes in a time of a global pandemic. COVID-19 is a challenge to all people but especially for those transplant recipients who is using immune suppressants and a compromised immune system. Studies has shown that exercise is beneficial to transplant recipients and will not just assist with keeping fit and healthy but also help with maintaining good mental health.
The group goal is to walk 1 000 000 000 steps before 13 December 2020 and with a few more days left before the challenge ends they have already reached this goal and is now raising much needed awareness around staying active and healthy after an organ transplant.
To find out more about the Billion Steps Challenge, please visit http://www.wtgf.org/billion-steps-challenge.