At the end of October 2017, Belgium celebrated the 25th anniversary of its padel federation. On this occasion, we wanted to honour and thank people who, through their involvement, talent and above all passion, have strongly contributed to the development of Padel in Belgium in recent years. They constitute a magnificent variety of know-how and complementarities and have been awarded the Padel Belgium Award 2017. There are 7 of them and we are pleased to present them below.
Philippe is probably the greatest ambassador of Padel in Belgium. A true pioneer, active since the early 1990s in the first club of Padel located then in Anderlecht (RTC Amicale), he has gone through all roles: 1st Belgian champion, player and captain of the Belgian national team for more than 15 years participating in many European and World Championships, club vice-president, vice-president and president of the Belgian Federation, founder of the Francophone Association of Padel and of course promoter… In August 2017, he initiated and orchestrated the creation of the greatest Padel tournament ever held in Belgium: an “Exhibition” stage of the World Padel Tour (Professional International Padel Championship) in Brussels on the Place de la Monnaie. Some of the best players in the world came to Brussels to offer an exceptional show, while at the same time confronting Belgian and French talents. This project will continue in 2018 to once again offer a great Padel show for all fans in Belgium. Thank you Philippe.
Jan is the great initiator of Padel in Flanders. In 2006, he founded Padel Vlaanderen, which initially offered discovery and training courses in Padel in Spain for a few enthusiasts in Flanders. Confident and convinced by the sport of Padel, he wanted to make a crazy dream come true, that of launching the Padel on Flemish soil. This project has gone through the structuring of Padel Vlaanderen into a federation that offers all the services to its members but also through original promotional actions such as “Padel on the move” which moves from commune to commune with a field and exhibitions. And what is probably the greatest evolution in Flanders in 2012 is the creation of the Padel4U2 club in Gentbrugge, a club with 8 courts, 100% dedicated to Padel. From 2012 to 2015, this club was the largest padel club in Europe, outside Spain. The teams of Padel Vlaanderen and Padel4U2 have enabled Belgium to host many international competitions such as the qualifying phases for the 2014 and 2016 World Championships, or international FIP tournaments. Thank you Jan.
Laurent is part of the new (or even old) generation of Padel lovers. A great tennis player (Series A), fallen under the spell of Padel, he became involved with the Federation in 2013, first as a player with 2 Belgian championship titles and then as an undisputed member of the national team. Motivated, he regularly travels to Spain to find the expertise necessary for his progress and share it as soon as he returns to Belgium. He is also the first Belgian to have participated in an official tournament of the World Padel Tour. A true leader, he has been able to boost his network and relaunch the men’s national team in 2014, the women’s national team in 2016, and create with Nick Braet the very first national “junior” team for the 2017 World Championships in Spain. Laurent has also been involved in supporting the federation in the first training courses for instructors. With his partner Christophe Rochus, he now manages 3 clubs through his consulting and training company. Thank you Laurent!
Also from the younger generation, Nick has probably been one of the most active players in Flanders and even Belgium in recent years. Active in the Padel4U2 club and Padel Vlaanderen, he is also the main coordinator of Dutch-speaking projects for Padel Belgium. Nick is also the driving force behind the organization of many national and international championships. He is the most certified player and coach in Padel in Belgium with numerous training courses in Spain and Belgium. Nick shared his experience as a coach and coach of the women’s national team in 2016 and 2017. He also created and coached, alongside Laurent Montoisy, the first national junior team formed in 2017. Founder of the Ghent Padel Academy, he manages his school of Padel for all audiences and contributes strongly to the Belgian educational project. Finally, he is the player with the highest growth rate in Belgium with the top Belgian level achieved in a few years. We will certainly be able to see this during the 2018 championship. Thank you Nick!
Maria alone embodies everything we love about padel, joy, passion, friendliness, conviviality, “living together”. Since 2010 and the arrival of the Europadel Club, she has been playing, organizing and animating numerous competitive and recreational activities that have strongly contributed to the development of Padel in Belgium and to making this discipline known to a growing Belgian public. Maria embodies a padel for all the generations she brings together around her. Maria represents the women’s Padel, which is becoming more and more successful, like Spain, and of which she is one of the first ambassadors. Finally, Maria represents the entire Hispanic community here in Belgium. This community has been able to gather around this great padel project, to make us discover the Padel culture while sharing the Spanish and South American culture. In short, to help us grow. Thank you Maria!
Julien is one of those people with multiple talents who gravitate in the world of Padel. Since 2012, he has actively participated in the promotion of Padel in Belgium by supporting regional and national federations, being a player, organiser, photographer, consultant, coach, club manager… Just like Nick Braet, a player not coming from any other racket sport, he also shows an exceptional progression which is the result of a real work and a 100% Padel passion. He then trains to become an instructor/coach and thus shares his expertise with a varied and conquered audience. Julien is also one of the first Padel Referee Judges to have been trained in Belgium via the programme organised by the international federation FIP. Following this, he is the first person in the history of Belgian Padel to have been hired by the FIP to officiate as Referee Judge at the Junior World Championships in Malaga, Spain in October 2017. Thank you Julien!
And last but not least, Méline also represents the Padel as we love it, the freshness, the joy, the passion, the sharing and… the youth. A young player from a family of great athletes, Méline was quickly bitten by Padel. Passionate, she has worked hard in recent years to make progress despite a Belgian and European context that does not yet offer the Juniors the support they deserve. It was then in Spain that she made her debut, then in Belgium under the supervision of her instructors. And it is finally in 2017 that a first major junior project was born, with the participation in the 2017 World Championships in Spain. A women’s and men’s team was formed, Méline was at the centre from the start and was able to participate in these world championships. She was also instrumental in providing the girls’ team with a historic victory over the United Kingdom. Méline opened the way to Padel for all Belgian youth. Thank you Meline!