It is with extreme sadness that we announce the passing of one of our long serving officials. René Howalt passed away during this past night following a large stroke.
René was involved in goalball since the 1980s and hung up his whistle in 2010 but continued to remain involved in the sport.
René reached the absolute top of the sport as a referee. He refereed both Paralympic Games and World Championships. He had just celebrated his 60th birthday last Friday which he had celebrated with all his family.
He ended his career as a referee by serving as the technical delegate at the 2010 IBSA Goalball European Championships Men B in his home country of Denmark. During this tournament he was presented with a gold whistle from his colleagues in recognition for his hard work and dedication.
René had a very distinctive sense of humour and was a great conversationalist. His passion for goalball meant that if you got him on to this topic, you had to be ready for a long chat. He was an extremely warm and charming man.
René, wherever you may be, thank you. Thank you for your dedication, making many of us laugh and most of all, thank you for touching our lives.