My name is Stanley Henkeman and I was the recipient of a new heart on 13 February 2007. Like so many of my fellow South African transplant Sports Association (SATSA) colleagues I gratefully grabbed my second chance and chose to show my gratitude through physical activity. I have been fortunate to represent my country at three World Transplant Games where we have always been in the top ten participating countries. 2013, when South Africa hosted the Games, was a wonderful exception because we were placed in third place behind Great Britain and the USA respectively. The successful hosting was largely due to the amazing financial and material support we received from entities within the country. The National Lotteries Board, The Department of Sport and Recreation the KZN Provincial Government and the Ethekwini Municipality helped to make these Games one of the best in the history of the World Transplant Games Federation.
I was fortunate to serve on the Local Organising Committee and was humbled by the way in which South Africans are able to make things happen under difficult circumstances. As an athlete, and captain of the national team, this proved to be the best Games I had attended. I had the rare honour of reading the Athletes’ Pledge on behalf of all the athletes from 49 countries. As a team we are looking forward to attend the 2015 Games in Argentina to again prove our metal against the best in the world. This dream is unfortunately a distant one for most of our athletes because of the cost implications. The majority of our members are not able to pay their way and it would be a shame of we were not able to take our place as a leading country. The SATSA team is probably one of the most representative national teams in that it represents all the provinces, all races, urban and rural, males and female and adults and children. This team represents the rainbow nation in all its diversity. Like me, coming from Bonteheuwel on the Cape Flats, there are many athletes who come from difficult backgrounds and circumstances.
Your support can make it possible for us to send a team to Argentina that will not only consist of people with the means to pay their way but all athletes who deserve to be there on merit.