• European Individual Closed Champs 2013 • 04 - 07 Sep • Herentals •  

WELCOME from Hugo Hannes

To all the athletes, coaches and supporters

On behalf of the Flemish Squash Federation I would like to welcome you all to ‘The Flemish Squash Centre’ in Herentals that is the host venue of the European Individual Closed Championships 2013.

I wish to thank all competitors for entering the 10th edition of the European Individual Closed Championship. We welcome the top European men and women to these Championships and we are happy to see that 19 European member nations are represented.

We realize that professional players are used to receiving prize money and therefore we appreciate your presence at these championships, but especially the presence of the latest European Champions: Gregory Gaultier from France (in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011) and Olli Tuominen (2012) in the men’s event and Nathalie Grinham (2011) and the Camille Serme (2012).G. Gauthier won gold at the World Games 2013 in Columbia last month. S. Rosner and N. Grinham both won silver and C. Serme won the bronze medal. Congratulations.

Personally I regret the absence of the women top players, but the strength of the men's competition will make up for this. Ten from the top 15 European players on the world ranking will fight to become European Champion 2013. Having said this, I expect a women's final at high level as well.

The people in the tournament office and the members of the organising committee will be at your service and I am sure that they will see to it that you can enjoy your sport and good competition. My special thanks to Ronny Vlassaks, Tournament Director, and Kim Hannes, head of the organizing committee. I also wish to thank Michael Kahn, the ESF Technical Director and Linda Davie, the Championship Referee for their time and input.

As President of the Flemish Squash Federation I express my gratitude towards all institutions that supported this event: BLOSO, the Belgian Olympic Committee, Topsport Vlaanderen and the Province of Antwerp.

May I wish you all a fine time in Herentals, but especially a number of exciting matches. Being a good sport on and off court is showing respect for the many hours the organizing committee and the members of the Flemish Squash Office have put into this event.

I look forward meeting you on the few official functions. Enjoy your stay and game because you are among friends sharing the same interest.

Hugo Hannes
President of the Flemish Squash Federation
Vice-President Belgian Squash Federation
Foreword from Flemish Minister of Sports

Dear sportsmen

Flanders wants to continue presenting itself as a region with a good sports climate and in which sports play a social role. The Flemish sports policy aims to increase the sports participation. As Flemish Minister of Sports I would like to encourage as many people as possible to exercise regularly at one's own level and in the best conditions.

Top sport has in this respect an example. Elite athletes can inspire and encourage young and old to exercise more and better. At top sport events with major international competitors, our Flemish promising young athletes can fulfill their role as (sports) Ambassador. The Flemish government gives these athletes and organizers of top sport events the opportunity to achieve this on Flemish soil.

The Flemish government supports international top sport events in Flanders and Brussels. These events must give Flanders a positive international image. They can offer our talented athletes optimal development opportunities in order to perform on European and global level. The young talents get in turn the opportunity to achieve international experience in the presence of their own enthusiastic audience.

Therefore supporting active top sport partners is an important part of the Flemish sports policy. This organization meets all the set objectives by the Flemish government determined by the criteria list called 'Topsport Vlaanderen'.

Enjoy the sporting spectacle that you will see and let it be a source of inspiration to exercise sports yourselves!

Philippe Muyters
Flemish Minister of Sports
ESF President’s Welcome

On behalf of the European Squash Federation, welcome to the 10th European Individual Championships. Whether you are a player, coach, spectator or official, thank you for supporting this leading ESF event, and we look forward to another closely fought championship.

I’d like to take the opportunity to congratulate Europe’s medallists at the recent World Games: Gregory Gaultier (gold), Simon Rosner (silver), Natalie Grinham (silver) and Camille Serme (bronze), all of whom are competing in this European Championship.

May I also take the opportunity to thank the Flemish Squash Federation for hosting the event and the Organising Committee for their hard work in planning and delivering the Championships. In particular I’d like to thank Kim Hannes (Head of OC), Ronny Vlassaks (Championship Director), Michael Khan (ESF Technical Director) and Linda Davie (Tournament Referee).

The Championship takes place on the eve of another significant milestone for squash, with the IOC vote on the 26th sport to be included in the 2020 Olympic Games. Let’s hope all our dreams come true, and the efforts of everyone who has contributed to the campaign are rewarded.

Have a great Championship, and let’s hope we’re all celebrating on the evening of 8th September.

Zena Wooldridge
ESF President
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