Dear athletes, relatives and supporters,
This week the Managing Committee (MC) of the European Heart and Lung Transplant Federation (EHLTF) met again with the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of EHLTC 2022 in Belgium via Zoom and discussed the current situation and upcoming developments.
The situation accross Europe with COVID-19 is still very uncertain and it is not possible to determine at this time covid case numbers and the impact of the Omicron variant at the planned date of the Games in June 2022.
During the preparations, it was particularly important to the MC and LOC that the Games could be held safely for all participants.
The recent introduction of a coronavitus barometer in Belgium currently places severe restrictions on the planning of organised events both indoors and outdoors.
In order to gather potential participation numbers we conducted a short survey via the Games website. Of the responses received, 53% indicated that they would attend, 34% were unsure and 13% would not attend due to covid concerns.
A key consideration for the MC and LOC was the viability of the games based on expected attendance numbers and participation costs for athletes and supporters.
MC consulted on an ongoing basis with the LOC and had been to Belgium as previously reported.
All options were considered including a possible postponement, which unfortunately was not possible.
Therefore the MC have reluctantly decided to cancel EHLTC 2022.
We understand that this is disappointing news, ultimately the health and well being of heart and lung transplant recipients had to be our primary concern.
We would like to take this opportunity to express our special thanks to LOC Belgium under the leadership of Raymond Van Ryckel for the work done in preparation for the Games. We are sure that under normal conditions it would have been possible for us to hold successful Games in Belgium.
We are now planning a Zoom meeting for all EHLTF member organisations at the end of February 2022 so as to fully explain our decision and to discuss potential venues for future Games.
“The Games must go on!” – we will continue to stick to this motto to keep our unique community together and strengthen it again.
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!