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Death of Ate van Heusden

It is with great sadness that the International Korfball Federation has learnt of the passing of Mr Ate van Heusden, developer of korfball, with latest initiatives in Morocco.

Ate van Heusden had been involved with the international development of korfball over many years, mostly in an informal role. Initially, in the 1980s, he got involved as the husband of Tineke van Heusden, who supported the development of korfball outside of Europe (the “A-continents” as it was called at that time. Ate was very active in his club PSV Eindhoven and within the club he supported many international initiatives, for many years linked with a close relationship with Chinese Taipei. Later, Ate participated as a creative thinker in multiple IKF initiatives, including participation at the IKF Congress. Most recent, again as part of his activities at PSV, he was a co-founder of the “Korfball Foundation Netherlands – Morocco” and has been one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the Moroccon Korfball Federation.

IKF President Jan Fransoo: “We will remember Ate for his endless creativity and energy, and his positive attitude, always seeing opportunities on the bright side of life. We wish his wife Tineke and his children Bart and Nienke lots of strength with carrying this loss.”

Photo credit: PSV Korfbal website

USA Korfball pioneer Ralph Davis passes away at 96

Today, the International Korfball Federation has been informed of the passing of Ralph Davis, holder of the IKF Badge of Honour, at the age of 96, amid his next of kin. Ralph Davis was one of the pioneers of korfball in the United States in the late 1970s. Many consider him one of the two founding fathers of US Korfball, together with Jan Broekhoff.

Davis was a coach of the Portland State University Korfball Team and served as President of the US Korfball Federation. Apart from korfball, he was very active in sports throughout his entire life.  He was a Seaside and Gearhart ocean-front lifeguard, credited with 250 life-saving rescues, physical education instructor at Portland State University, and a coach in football, track and cross country athletics. Further, he was founder and director of the Seaside Marathon and its summer Beach Run. The latter he created in 1966 together with his late wife Betty, who also was a former life guard. She supported him over many years in korfball activities. He was active in the gym until very recently continuing to practice sports.

His true dream, however, was a further growth of korfball in the US, which may happen now that The World Games have been awarded to Birmingham (AL, USA) in 2021. At those games, we will surely remember Ralph Davis’s most famous quote, with which he signed off all his letters: “If it isn’t korfball, it isn’t”.

The global korfball community have lost a pioneer in korfball and a friend of many. We send our condolences to Vaunda, Bryan, Scott and their families.