Hans Tukker, former President of IWBF Europe, has received the major Dutch award, The Officer’s Cross in the Order of Orange- Nassau from the Mayor, for a lifetime of voluntary work for wheelchair basketball.

Within a short week of the conclusion of IWBF Wheelchair Basketball World Championships in Hamburg, one of the sports dedicated leaders was awarded one of the Netherlands highest honours.

Hans Tukker started in basketball in the early 70’s and has dedicated over forty years to the sport of wheelchair basketball. This voluntary dedication was in conjunction with a senior position in the Dutch military and raising a family.

In the early days, he collaborated with two other stalwarts of our sport, Willi Brinkman (Germany) and Andre Vergauwen (Belgium) to create the West European League – a championship which attracted clubs from those three countries and created the first fully established international club circuit.

This league was the precursor to a period of rapid expansion in the 80’s which not only benefited the clubs involved but also the national teams of Europe making the region supreme in many international competitions. Within a few years, the region was a fully constituted organisation with hundreds of clubs across Europe affiliated and with three major European club competitions still competed for annually to this day.

The region also helped pave the wave for the ultimate independence of wheelchair basketball into the IWBF.

Hans has held numerous senior roles and functions in the sport and was busy in Hamburg working to improve the quality of the Game Commissioners – a role he has been asked to develop further.

President of IWBF, Ulf Mehrens, and President of IWBF Europe, Walter Pfaller, both sent video messages of congratulations which were played on his investiture day.

On Friday 31st August in the Town Hall in Utrechtse Heuvelrug (Doorn) the Netherlands he was awarded The Officer’s Cross in the Order of Orange- Nassau from the Mayor.

Congratulations Hans from IWBF, an award truly deserved.