European heart & lung transplant games

How it all started … Martin Luther King’s famous words, “I have a dream”, could very well have been the inspiration to Peter Hansen, a Dutch Heart Transplant recipient who, in 1989, with the support of the Dutch National Heart Transplant Federation “Harten Twee”, invited Heart Transplant recipients from neighbouring countries to a weekend of sport at Gorssel in the Netherlands. Such was the success of these Games and the recognition that “something special” had been started, that the French Heart Transplant Assocation, under the Chairmanship of Maurice Girod hosted the competition the following year.

In 1991 the Games were hosted by the British Heart Transplant Association at Hayes, Middlesex, just outside London under the Chairmanship of Ken Pinfield and Vice-President Geoffrey Finnigan. In 1992 Peter Hansen and “Harten Twee” again hosted the Games, this time at the campus of Twente University at Enschede in the Netherlands. By this time the Games had grown to almost 200 competitors from 10 countries and where Jan Ras and Pieter Haak were key contributors. It was here that the idea of a European Heart Transplant Federation was first discussed with Fernand Magdonelle and Geoffrey Finnigan as principal promoters.

A draft proposal for statues for a Federation was presented during a meeting at Brussels in 1993 during 20km Brussels Marathon. A final version was prepared at Tignes, France in January of 1994 and presented to all National Associations attending the 5th European Games at Helsinki, Finland in 1994 under the Chairmanship of Esko Laine and Secretary General Ilkka Vass. There the founding protocol was signed on July 3rd 1994 from 15 European National Heart- or Heart-Lung Transplant Associations.

The Federation was registered in Belgium and for many years every second General Assembly was held there and during the years of the Games GA was part of the program. Geoffrey Finnigan of Great Britain was elected the first President of the Federation. And after him the Presidents were: Henry Denneville (France), Audun Bell (Norway), Terry Mangan (Ireland), Arnulf Pohl (Austria), David Walker (United Kingdom), Brendan Gilligan (Ireland). Current President is Henk Bakker from the Netherlands.

On October 13th 2005 the name was amended to read: European Heart and Lung Transplant Federation (EHLTF).

Previous games :
– 2020 Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain (cancelled due to covid-19)
– 2018 Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy
– 2016 Vantaa, Finland
– 2014 Vilnus, Lithuania
– 2012 Apeldoorn, Netherlands
– 2010 Växjö, Sweden
– 2008 Vichy, France
– 2006 Napoli, Italy
– 2004 Dublin, Ireland
– 2002 Klagenfurt, Austria
– 2000 Sandefjord, Norway
– 1998 Bad Oeynhausen, Germany
– 1996 Lausanne, Switzerland
– 1994 Espoo, Finland
– 1992 Enschene, Netherlands
– 1991 London, Great Britain
– 1990 Paris, France
– 1989 Gorssel, Netherlands

You're welcome in Ostend, Belgium!

Ostend will be your host for the 19th European heart and lung transplant champignionships. At the 'City by the Sea', over five and a half miles of sandy beaches invites you to delightful sunbathing and a refreshing dip in the North Sea. You will be able to thoroughly enjoy sports and relaxation, strolling and shopping etc. ... Hope to see all of you in June 2022!