Mr. Philippe Werts is the person whom has managed to bring the World Padel Tour to Belgium, one of the European countries where Padel is thriving.
I had the opportunity to talk with Philippe during the celebration of the III Tibeflex Open FIP250 & FIP100 (May 12-14) at Padel 4U2 Gent, the biggest padel event in Belgium, so far.
“World Padel Tour Brussels 2017 – The exhibition, August 18th-20th it is going to be a very big happening in Brussels city centre, ‘Place de La Monnaie’, for an audience of one thousand people.
It will become a very important event for the development of Padel in Belgium and its main objective is to get the Belgian people to know the sport, even though it has experienced a significant growth in the last two years, going from 3 to 40 clubs with padel courts.
I am a passionate padel fan and play since 1993, more over, I have taken part in five World Championships and eight European Championships, and this is a perfect way to pursue and enjoy my passion.
As an anecdote, in 1994 I did a TV appearance on RTBF, the Belgian national channel, where I tried to explain what padel was, with Smurfs!!
I have been President of the Belgian Padel Federation for one decade and left it because I wanted to develop my own padel projects, like this World Padel Tour Exhibition.
The amount of work an event of this kind implies is huge. We have worked in close collaboration with World Padel Tour, with Hernan Auguste with whom I have a good trusting relationship and have reached an agreement to celebrate three WPT events in the next three years.
The idea is to match the category of the next events to the padel development level in Belgium at that moment. Currently, ‘The Exhibition’ is the correct three day format in order to attract people to discover padel. Right now it is maybe too early for a standard one week Challenger, Open or Master tournament. I hope to host in the next years one of these bigger one week official ranking tournaments.
For this Exhibition we will have the #2 pair Paquito Navarro – ‘Sanyo’ Gutierrez, the #3 Mati Díaz – Maxi Sánchez, Juan Martín Díaz (let’s hope he can recover in time) – Ramiro Moyano and Seba Nerone – Alex Ruiz …for great teams… on Friday they will play against four invited ‘wildcards’ teams, two of them from Belgium, the French champions,… we believe they will be interesting matches.
And, of course, female padel will be present with a match that will take place on Saturday during the semifinals with Sandrine Testud, ex WTA top10 and member of the Italian national team whom play against one of the best Belgian teams.
We have the support from the Belgian Minister of Sports, Mr. Rachid Madrane, Ms. Fadila Laanan of COCOF (French Community Commission), Mr. Alain Courtois of City of Brussels helping with the event organization, also we have great sponsors like TOTAL, HEAD, Estrella Damm, the WPT official sponsors….and a very big one, the name of which I can’t announce yet.
We will also have a media partner, the biggest francophone Belgian sports newspaper ‘La dernière heure les sports’ which will live stream the matches on their web http://www.dhnet.be (we do not know yet if the streaming will be available for the rest of countries…we will confirm it later on). And we will try that WPT show them on its youtube channel.
I am very happy to take part in the development of padel in Belgium, in Europe, to make it grow everywhere. It is a very important sport in Spain with over five millions players and we hope it follows the same path in Belgium.”
During the trophy ceremony at the III Tibeflex Open it was announced that the Belgian female team that will play at the Exhibition will be the #1 Helena Wyckaert & Barbara Laurent. A well deserved gift for its short but very successful trayectory.
Honestly, I am quite sure that the WPT Brussels 2017 The Exhibition will be a great success and I hope to be there to enjoy it and be able to tell how it went.
Congratulations Mr. Philippe Werts and thank you very much for you time, dedication and passion for this wonderful sport.
You can find more info about the WPT Brussels 2017 – The Exibition in his facebook page.