It is with great sadness that IWBF on Sunday heard of the passing of Steve Spilka.
Steve, an IWBF Gold Medal Triad Award recipient, dedicated a huge amount of his time and efforts to supporting IWBF, having served on the Executive Council as Treasurer from 1997 to 2014. Following his departure from the board in 2014, he continued to support Secretary-General, Maureen Orchard, and Craig Moorgas, the new IWBF treasurer, with the finances.
He was valued not only for his expertise with IWBF finances but for his knowledge of the game. Steve was a member of the Tournament Technical Committee at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, 2010 World Championships in Birmingham, and 2012 London Paralympic Games. He was also invited and served on the IWBF Technical Commission and was an IWBF Zonal Classifier.
Steve was not only committed to the work he did for IWBF, but he was also an instrumental figure for the sport of wheelchair basketball in the UK, dedicating over 20 years on the board of British Wheelchair Basketball. During this time, he was the visionary behind securing funding for not only the national teams but also the development of the grassroots of the sport in the country.
IWBF Secretary-General, Maureen Orchard, said “Steve Spilka was a player, coach, zonal classifier, mentor and Gold Medal Triad winner. More he was a friend that you could count on, a fair man who listened to both sides of the discussion and gave me good council whenever I needed it. He was as good as they come – I will miss his dry humour, talking to him about the dog and his family and sharing the latest happenings in IWBF. He truly cared about others. We have all lost a good friend.”
The level and respect Steve held was demonstrated with him being awarded the Gold Medal Triad Award by IWBF and Service to Sport Awards by British Wheelchair Basketball and Wheelpower. He was also recognised by the British Sport Trust for his tremendous achievements with a Torch Trophy.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.