Geert is the President of the European Wallball ProTour for the 2015-2017 period.
The first time I came into contact with wallball was in 2003. In a little village in Belgium (Buizingen), in a small sports hall, there were 2 indoor courts. Some local young players were having a go at a very crazy version of the sport – they were loving it! It wasn’t the way I’d seen it played on YouTube! Since that day, seeing their enjoyment, it became my passion to play and coach wallball.
Since there weren’t many walls in Belgium, we didn’t have much opportunity to play it. In 2008 my own village created a court and we started to get players – but only from another handball discipline (llargues, an old game played across Europe).
I had a dream to go the USA to see how they played it over there. I wanted to invest in the sport because I had a feeling it would become and important sport in the world for 3 reasons: low-cost, easy to play by anyone almost anywhere and last but not least, it is non-contact sport where the players have a lot of respect for one another. It would become my sport for the future.
In 2008 I became the national coach of the Belgian Wallball team. In 2010 I became a trainer/coach at the Killshot club, who hosted the first Belgian Open. And in 2012 I became a national coach of the Dutch wallball team.
After this time it was becoming clear that lots of players from lots of countries were beginning to take the sport very seriously. The benefits were tangible and crossed the language barrier. I started to discuss the notion of the ProTour with several other enthusiastic players and we all came together to form the tour all across Europe with a view to making the sport bigger and better throughout the continent and to act as a leader for the rest of the world. - Geert Vandervelden
During my time I have travelled to the UK, Ireland, New York, Portland, Italy and Spain – not only to train players, but also to convince them to start playing. This experience has shown me that everyone who plays it – young or old, warm to it quickly and continue to play.
I became the President of the European Wallball ProTour in 2015 and I am convinced that wallball will become a great sport in Europe. I hope that more players from around the world, from beginner to Pro, will join our Open tournament circuit and join us in making wallball the sport of the future.