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1 July 2013

In Memory of Pierre Genyn

We are saddened by the news of the recent passing of former IWRF European Zone President and Referee, Pierre Genyn. Pierre lost his battle against cancer on June 19th and died at his home in Essen, Belgium only days after his 63rd birthday.


Pierre first became involved in the sport of Wheelchair Rugby in the 1990's as the proud father of Belgian national team player Peter Genyn, but soon after started working as a referee.


In the first years of rugby in Belgium, Pierre was responsible for organizing international club team tournaments held there. He would get his entire family involved with the organisation, from working as table officials to arranging the traditional closing party. The tournaments were always fun and reached a higher level each year that passed.


As a referee Pierre achieved a high level of success, working at World Championships and the 2004 Paralympic Games.


Pierre was the IWRF European Zone Head Official between 1997 and 2005. When there were no candidates for the position of European Zone President he stepped in and combined the two positions between 2001 and 2005. Pierre didn't do this because it was his ambition to be president, but because he felt the work needed to be done.


Current European Zone President Joke Beekman stated "I always enjoyed working together with Pierre. We shared regular discussions and sometimes disagreements, but were never not able to resolve them in the end".


We remember Pierre as a good and fair referee with a lot of court experience. He was always going his way modestly, without a lot of fuss, but dedicated to everyone and everything that was close to him, including the sport of wheelchair rugby.


Pierre retired from wheelchair rugby in 2005 to spend more time with his family. Unfortunately that time was limited. He will be missed by all that knew him, but especially by his wife José, his children and grandchildren, his father, and all of his relatives and friends.


The global wheelchair rugby family morns the loss of Pierre Genyn, and will forever remember his kind personality and the many contributions that he brought to our sport. Our sincere condolences are with his family and friends during this difficult time.