The German Disabled Sports Association (DBS) has paid tribute to Special Olympics Germany (SOD) deputy managing director Timo Schädler, who has died unexpectedly at the age of 37.
Schädler, who was also head of the Academy of SOD, was regarded as an important personality for sportspeople with disabilities in the nation.
He died on July 31, shortly after his 37th birthday.
He started working with the SOD Academy in 2013 and was appointed head of the academy and team leader at SOD in January 2017, before becoming managing director in February 2019.
Under his leadership, the academy developed into a supporting pillar of the DBS in the science and education sector and recently led work on developing disabled sports associations.
"Fortunately, in addition to the expert from our structures, we were often able to win Timo Schädler on as a supporter in German Disabled Sports Youth (DBSJ) projects, for example with the 'Participation and Diversity' manual," said DBSJ chairman Lars Pickardt, speaking of his admiration for Schädler.
"He was a great asset with his expertise.
"It was also a great enrichment for him conversely to include the DBSJ in its projects."
In a statement, DBSJ said: "Above all, he was passionate about the athletes.
"Their participation and self-determination have always been the focus of his seven years of activity.
"The athlete spokespersons had in him a competent mentor and reliable supporter.
"Our thoughts and compassion go with his family and loved ones, whom we wish great strength in this difficult time."