Our Chairman

FRANK VAN WEZEL was born in VLISSINGEN, THE NETHERLANDS, where he spent his childhood and adolescence. He was the youngest student in his year at NYENRODE BUSINESS UNIVERSITY (www.nyenrode.nl) from where he graduated with honours before fulfilling his National Service obligations as a Lieutenant in the Dutch Air Force.

Upon leaving the Air Force, he worked and studied in LONDON and PARIS, after which he lived in East Africa for 10 years before being eventually transferred to ESSEX in ENGLAND. His love of Squash and Tennis led to his involvement in the sports shoe industry where he was instrumental in the introduction of the first specialist Squash shoe, which subsequently led to the creation of HI-TEC SPORTS PLC. Now more than 19 million pairs of the first shoe, still commercialised even today, have been sold.

From humble beginnings in 1974, the Company was floated on THE LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE in June 1988. Chairman VAN WEZEL decided to privatise the Company in 2000 because he felt stifled by the demands of short-term profit goals of being a Public Company.

HI-TEC SPORTS now enjoys worldwide recognition as being one of the world leaders in sports and outdoor footwear with distribution in approximately 85 countries and subsidiary Companies in UK, CANADA, USA, SOUTH AFRICA, SPAIN, FRANCE, GERMANY and the BENELUX. The Company currently employs approximately 400 employees and generates global sales of more than US$ 250 million. Part of this turnover is with the brand MAGNUM – the specialist boot for many people in uniform all over the world. For more information: www.magnumboots.com.

MR VAN WEZEL was bestowed a Lifetime Achievement Award by the British Sports Trade. Equally he is Life Vice President of the SQUASH RACKETS ASSOCIATION in the UK, an honour bestowed for the first time by the Association in recognition of the services he has rendered to the game of Squash worldwide. MR VAN WEZEL was also a founding member of the Faculty Advisory Board of the UNIVERSITY OF BATH's SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT. He is member of the STICHTING NYENRODE FUND, a fundraising organisation for the only private business university in The Netherlands.

In 2013 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate honouris causa in Business Administration by the Anglia Ruskin University of Cambridge and Chelmsford, showing his consistent business leadership for 40 years.

FRANK VAN WEZEL and his family have lived in ENGLAND for more than 40 years, and he has two daughters and one son. His two sons-in-law and his son work in the business, which is a true family affair. This sport loving Dutchman enjoys Soccer, Tennis, Squash, Skiing and Golf. He is a Director of his local professional soccer team, SOUTHEND UNITED, and is also a sponsor of the SOUTHEND RUGBY CLUB. He also financially supports a couple of soccer clubs in Holland as he says: “Just for the love of the game!”

The Chairman - Frank Van Wezel