Ina Wiekert-Jager (Photo: NTTB)
Well known international umpire, Ina Wiekert-Jager passed away on Thursday 31st March.
Born on Thursday 13th April 1947, following a short illness, she died less than three weeks short of her 75th birthday.
A member of the Netherlands Table Tennis Association (NTTB), Ina became a National Umpire in 1978, an International Umpire in 1988, before in 2004 gaining Blue Badge status, at the time the highest qualification.
Additional to the Netherlands, Ina officiated at World Championships, European Championships, European Youth Championships, Veteran European Championship, Veteran World Championship, European Games, European Cup competitions and Open International Tournaments.
Overall, during her career, she was on duty at more than 80 international events.
Undoubtedly, the pinnacle was reserving the best seat in the houses at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Werner Thury, Chair of the ITTF Umpires and Referees Committee paid tribute:
“When fulfilling her role as an umpire, deputy referee or referee, she was resolute and clear, befitting her character. In the Netherlands, she is considered a driving force behind the expert group formed for promoting match officials. She was both an advisor for new umpires, as well as an assessor for the more established.” Werner Thury
Notably, her efforts were acknowledged by the NTTB. Elected a member of the Awards Grant Committee; on Saturday 31st May 2008, she received the Insigna accolade, on Saturday 12th May 2018 she was named as a Member of Merit.
Most pertinently in 2004, she was appointed Knights of the Order of Orange-Nassau.
“The table tennis world lost a very active and driven volunteer. We wish her husband, friends and acquaintances great strength at the time of this sad loss.” Werner Thury
An enigmatic welcoming smile will not be seen again but it will live long in the memory; Ina Wiekert-Jager is sadly missed.