The International University Sports Federation (FISU) has expressed its condolences following the passing away of two influential colleagues, including Sandy Rodriguez, secretary general of FISU America.
Louw Hekkema, who served as the technical chair of long track speed skating at Studentensport Nederland from 1996 to 2015, has also died.
Rodriguez, who died after suffering a heart attack, was previously the President of the Venezuelan Sports Federation of University Education.
Under his leadership, the country sent its largest-ever delegation to participate in the 2015 Summer Universiade in Gwangju.
FISU claimed d Rodriguez will be remembered for his kindness, humility, wisdom and the good humour that always characterised him.
"University sport of the Americas lost a great leader and also one of its greatest supporters," FISU America President Alim Maluf Neto said.
"Sandy was one of the key people for the development of FISU America."
FISU President Oleg Matytsin and FISU secretary general and chief executive Eric Saintrond voiced their deepest sympathies to the Hekkema family.
"We are truly sorry to hear that Louw passed away," they said in a joint statement.
"On FISU’s behalf, we would like to send to his family and friends our heartfelt condolences.
"Our thoughts are with you all and we hope your beautiful memories can bring you comfort during these difficult times.
"Louw will be deeply missed."
FISU America advisor, America Alvarado Diaz, has been appointed the governing body’s interim secretary general until 2020.
An associate member of FISU since 2007, FISU America was funded in order to provide a platform for all university students in America to exchange and interact through sports.