The Boccia International Sports Federation (BISFed) has announced the death of leading international referee Cor Van Beers.
The Dutchman had been due to officiate in the boccia competitions at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, due to take place from September 7 to 18, before he withdrew from the list of referees because of health problems.
Van Beers was highly regarded within worldwide boccia and BISFed President David Hadfield expressed his condolences in a note to his family.
Hadfield described Van Beers as dependable, cheerful and energetic and that he would be “sadly missed by the whole boccia world”.
“I had known Cor for a number of years and we attended many boccia competitions together,” Hadfield wrote.
“He was one of those people on whom you could always depend, often travelling at short notice on a voluntary basis to help referee at a competition.
“We were so sorry when his health forced him to withdraw from refereeing at the forthcoming Paralympic Games in Rio.
“Cor was one of our most senior international referees and had done so much for the game over the years.
“He was unfailingly cheerful and energetic, and it was always a pleasure to have him at our competitions.”