It is with great sadness that the International Korfball Federation has learnt of the passing of Bob de Die, Honorary Life President of the IKF and recipient of the Olympic Order, at the age of 86 at his residence in the Netherlands, in the company of his wife Margareth.
Bob de Die will be remembered as the sixth President of the International Korfball Federation, serving at the helm of the governing body of the world’s exclusively mixed gender team sport from 1988 until 2003. During his Presidency, the IKF obtained recognition by the Global Association of International Sports Federations and later by the International Olympic Committee. During his vice-presidency, from 1981 until 1988, the korfball entered into the program of the World Games. From 1993 until 2005 he also served as Senior Vice-President of the International World Games Association. Bob was truly engaged with the development of the sport, having a particular impact on the development of the international competition calendar and the embedding in international multi-sports bodies.
Bob de Die was active as a korfball administrator during his entire life, always as a volunteer. Already at the age of 13, he joined the Executive Committee of his local korfball club in Leiden. In 1969, he became a member of the Executive Committee of the Royal Netherlands Korfball Association. Bob was instrumental in establishing the merger of two rivaling national korfball associations in the Netherlands in 1973, bringing about a single governing body for korfball in the Netherlands, with close to 100,000 registered members. During a considerable part of his membership of the Royal Netherlands Korfball Association Executive Committee, he assumed the office of Vice-President.
Bob was awarded the Honorary Life Presidency of the International Korfball Federation upon his retirement in 2003. At that time, he was also awarded the Olympic Order for his extensive service of many decades to the Olympic Movement. He was also an Officer in the Knighthood of Orange-Nassau, and a Honorary Life Member of the Royal Netherlands Korfball Association. In 2005, he received the GAISF Award for his service to sports.
After his retirement, Bob remained following the development of korfball and The World Games closely. After his health deteriorated and he was unable to leave home, he was an avid watcher of korfball matches from all over the world via livestream on his computer. In the meantime, he kept in touch with many fellow korfball and world games administrators from his generation through frequent emails. Always positive and constructive, always looking forward to help develop sports.
Jan C. Fransoo, current IKF President: “Bob de Die brought me into the International Korfball Federation as a volunteer administrator and later on convinced me to take on the job as Secretary General in 1997. From that period onwards, he has had a major impact on my development as a sports administrator. I will remember him for his positive and realistic outlook, and for ensuring me that good governance is what matters across sports. We wish his wife, children and grandchildren lots of strength in going through this difficult period.”
Due to current restrictions, the funeral will be in a small family setting. We will later have the opportunity to celebrate Bob’s life.
The picture shows Bob de Die receiving the GAISF Award in 2005 after his retirement from the IWGA Executive Committee. The Award was presented by GAISF President Verbruggen and witnessed by IWGA President Froehlich