As the sun sets on the Olympic sanctioned World Transplant Games, the questions need to be asked again.
Did the Australian Federal Government, whether through the Department of Sport or the Australian Organ and Tissue Authority get value for money for the $1.6m investment?
Did the WA Government and other sponsors receive benefit for their sponsorships?
If the KPIs for the games are the warm and fuzzy feelings of the 1500 participants and supporters or priceless memories of the wonderful volunteers then the games would get a pass mark.
I personally met some amazing people, who had wonderful stories and shared experiences with people from all over the world. I am sure many others felt the same.
I am sure like the myriad of stories that made me laugh and made me cry and sometimes both at the same time will provide me memories for life. The friendships made will endure of time and distance.
The outstanding personal achievements of recipients, donor families and even organisers will inspire the relatively small group of people who were involved over the lead up and the week itself.
There are 100s of 1000s of amazing transplant stories that inspire millions of people every year around the world - these people who did not or could not attend the eleborate event.
However, the real reason the games are held, apart from being a celebration of a second chance of life, is demonstrating the success of transplant surgery and promoting the need to raise public awareness of organ and tissue donation.
Certainly from more than anecdotal feedback, not many people inside or outside of Perth were aware of the games being on and certainly the media coverage and public attendance to the 17 events was very low.
Whether there will be any noticeable or measurable impact on donor registration or the all important #nextofkinconsent is doubtful.
As wise scholars say,
“Rather have questions that are hard to answer, than answers that can not be questioned”.
Before any monies are committed to further games, surely a full analysis of the 2023 carnival must be assessed and not just in terms of tourism dollars generated for Perth and WA, but lives saved and Donors Registered.
I certainly will be asking questions of legislators and administrators to ensure future investments are transparent and directly associated with realistic and measurable goals.