It is with great sadness that IWBF confirm the passing of international classifier Dr Hans Vorsteveld on Saturday 10th October 2020; he was 83 years old.

Hans Vorsteveld, from the Netherlands, has been active in wheelchair basketball for many years as a team and rehabilitation doctor, but also as a classifier. He first served as part of an IWBF Classification Panel at the 1979 Gold Cup for Men in Tampa, Florida, and other events included the 1990 Gold Cup, Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games, and Barcelona 1992 Paralympic Games.

Until his passing, Hans was still very active within wheelchair basketball classification at an international level as a member of the IWBF Eligibility Assessment Panels (EAP’s) for Minimal Disability applications, and part of the EAP’s for the ongoing classification reassessments.

A mentor, colleague, but most importantly friend to a vast amount of people in the wheelchair basketball community.

IWBF Secretary General, Norbert Kucera, said:

“Hans was a very tough and important rock in our federation, but his easy-going attitude allowed him to be respected and get on with everyone. His engagement with developing nations across Europe especially Armenia with the Red Cross, as well as his contribution to the IWBF classification commission will be missed a lot – especially in our current times.

“He was a wonderful man and I am very touched to have known him. One of my dearest memories was following a classification workshop in Lithuania, where we were sitting in a car and singing with him, and from a choir leader he may not have been the best singer, but he was most certainly enthusiastic about it.”

Tributes from the wheelchair basketball community have also been made to Hans.

Former Chair of the IWBF Classification Commission (between 1988-1998), Bernard Courbariaux, said:

“If memory serves, in 1984 he was the 1st MD to join the IWBF Functional Classification System. He was a ” Stoke Mandeville ” classifier and he liked the functional system proposed by Horst Strohkendl very much…however, like other doctors and paramedics, ‘we’ lacked two components: diagnosis and muscle assessment. But Hans learned to observe, and I remember that during discussions in the panels, he had become a very good observer and he knew how to argue. Hans was serious about his non-negotiable decisions but when the job was done, he was a good companion who knew how to laugh. My sincere regrets Hans to see you already gone.”

The Netherlands Women’s national coach Gertjan van der Linden, who has worked with Vorsteveld since 1983, said:

“Hans was a rehabilitation doctor at the rehabilitation centre at Roessingh in Enschede. He wanted everyone with disabilities to take up sports, especially wheelchair basketball, because it enriches your life. Hans has contributed to our global classification system to ensure that you can play wheelchair basketball with any disability – he always advocated that. Even after his retirement he was still busy with our sport day and night.”

Our heartfelt condolences from all the IWBF Family to all his family and friends.