European Transplant Sport Week in Vantaa, Finland 10.–17.7.2016

European Transplant Sport Week (ETSW) is an EU-funded event held in Vantaa, Finland on 10.–17.7.2016.

ETSW consists of three major parts: 1) International Youth Camp for children with organ transplant and their families, 2) Researcher Workshops and Transplant Sport Symposium and 3) Sport for All events organised in various locations around the Metropolitan area and targeted to general public to raise awareness on organ transplants.

The European Transplant Sport Week is organised in Vantaa simultaneously with the European Transplant Sport Championships, a 14-discipline multi-sport event.

ETSW got it’s funding from EU’s Erasmus+ Sport program. In 2015 there were 135 applications for not-for-profit sport events and only three of them got funding. An application for ETSW made by the Finnish Sport Association of Persons with Disabilities (VAU) was one of those three, getting a 381 000 euro funding.

With the help of EU-funding for example the International Youth Camp is free-of-charge (excluding travelling) for all the participants. Every EU nation can also send two professionals to the Researcher Workshops and the Transplant Sport Symposium for free.

– Our aim is to bring multidisciplinary researcher group to Vantaa and try to set the first footsteps to integrate the European exercise guidelines for persons with organ transplant, says Tomi Lounio, the Project manager of the ETSW.

The top-level Finnish transplant doctors are in close cooperation with the organising body to make the Researcher Workshops and the Symposium as successful as possible.

– Regular exercise is even more important for the persons with organ transplant than for the others, so the whole event week around this subject is an excellent thing, says Professor Ari Harjula, a Research Manager of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery in the Helsinki University Central Hospital and one of the keynote speakers in the Symposium.

The subject and the volume of the event makes the European Transplant Sport Week a unique event in Europe. The two big Finnish patient associations – the Kidney and Liver Association and the Heart and Lung Transplant Association SYKE – are both important partners of the organising body in making this event possible.

– We see the European Transplant Sport Week as an excellent opportunity to showcase the amazing results of the successful organ transplants via sport and exercise. Patients with almost hopeless prognosis can get decades of quality life with relatively low expenses, says Ilkka Vass, the director of the Finnish Heart and Lung Transplant Association SYKE.

– The European Transplant Sport Week is a great chance to get public attention to kidney and liver diseases and to spread knowledge about the importance of organ transplants. I expect visibility, bold openers from the professionals and of course people from all over Europe getting together in the name of sport, says Sari Högström, the director of the Finnish Kidney and Liver Association.

The support of the city of Vantaa has also been an integral part of creating such a high-volume transplant sport event.

– We wish all the participants of the European Transplant Sport Week hearty welcome to the city of Vantaa. The joy of sport and health promotion are goals we all share, says Kari Nenonen, the Major of the city of Vantaa.