Jan Fransoo awarded Honorary Life President after 20-year term as IKF president

Jan Fransoo today concluded an extraordinary 20-year term as International Korfball Federation (IKF) President. Fransoo has been succeeded by Gabi Kool who was voted in as the new President of the International Korfball Federation during the General Meeting 2023.

At the IKF General Meeting held on Saturday, 28 October in Taipei City, Jan received multiple standing ovations as well as a moving tribute by IKF CEO and General Secretary, Joana Faria.

The IKF General Meeting awarded Jan Fransoo with the Honorary Life President award for his outstanding contributions to the sport.

Jan Fransoo and Joana Faria (IKF General Secretary and CEO)

Joana said to the General Meeting and IKF officials that had gathered in the conference hall: “It is an honour to stand before you today and pay tribute to Jan Fransoo, the President of the International Korfball Federation, for his twenty years of service and unwavering commitment to the sport of korfball.

“Under his leadership, the sport has grown and flourished to become a truly global organisation. Today, we gather not only to acknowledge his outstanding contributions to our beloved sport but also to celebrate his leadership, vision, and unwavering dedication to the IKF

“The growth of continents outside of Europe, the professional presentation of our sport and the increased exposure through different media channels has been a big factor in this global growth of our sport.

“But Jan’s impact goes beyond the numbers and statistics. It is in the countless lives he has touched, the inspiration he has provided, and the sense of belonging he has nurtured. He has not just been a President; he has been a mentor, a role model, and a friend to many within the korfball community.

“Over the past two decades, Jan has demonstrated an exceptional ability to unite people from all corners of the globe under the banner of korfball. His passion for the growth of our sport has paved the way for countless countries to play korfball both at grass roots, and international level. His dedication to promoting diversity and inclusion has made korfball a sport that welcomes people of all backgrounds, cultures, and abilities. Jan’s commitment to fostering a sense of belonging in our korfball community is truly commendable.

“Under Jan’s guidance, the IKF has successfully hosted increasingly bigger and more professional tournaments such as World Championships and World Games events, showcasing our sport on the world stage in a way that korfball had previously never been seen. His determination to push the boundaries of the sport has resulted in increased recognition and respect for korfball across a variety of international sporting circles.

“Jan has been actively involved in promoting korfball development programs, supporting new technology initiatives, and advocating for gender equity within the sport. His commitment to equality has set a shining example for many others to follow. By promoting mixed-gender teams and equal opportunities for athletes all over the world, Jan has made the sport more inclusive and inspiring for us all.

“Thank you for your dedication, your passion, and your unwavering commitment to the sport of korfball.”

Mr. Shih-Chung, Director of Sports Administration, Ministry of Education also attended the meeting and thanked Jan for his years of dedicated service to the sport, and presented a First Class Medal for Contributions to the Field of Education. Jan was also presented with an Award Certificate and a special gift for his outstanding contribution to developing and expanding the international sport exchanges of Chinese Taipei.

Jan Fransoo, Mr. Shih-Chung and Gabi Kool

Both the Royal Dutch Korfball Association (KNKV) and the Royal Belgian Korfball Federation (KBKB) awarded Jan Fransoo an Honorary Membership.

Netherlands captain, Daan Preuninger presented a gift to Jan Fransoo on behalf of the KNKV and all athletes both past and present.

Fransoo continues to serve on the International World Games Association Executive (IWGA) Committee. He is serving his second term as IWGA ExCo Member after being reelected in 2023.

His contributions to the sport of korfball are immense and he will be remembered for his dedication and service to the sport. Thank you, Jan.,

Photos: Krit Suttipithuk

Bob de Die, IKF Honorary Life President, passes away

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