History of racquetball in Europe
The European Racquetball Federation (ERF) was established on J une 27th 1985 in Antwerp, Belgium. At that time, Racquetball was a growing sport not only in the American hemisphere and also throughout Europe. Therefore, it was decided to establish a European Federation that represented Europe within the world of Racquetball.
The Founding countries were Belgium, France, West-Germany, Great-Britain, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland.
The first ERF President was Dr. Jürgen Denk from Germany while Mr. Philip Duignan of Ireland served as first Vice President. In addition, Mr. René Hehemann of The Netherlands held the office of General Secretary.
The goals and objectives of the ERF are:
- to co-ordinate, develop and govern the promotion of the sport of Racquetball in its member countries and throughout Europe.
- to be the sole governing body for the sport of Racquetball in Europe.
- to promote friendly relations between its members and to establish, maintain, conduct and promote interest and participation in Racquetball.
- to foster and promote participation in physical fitness programmes through the sport of Racquetball.
- to provide, organise and supervise coaching clinics and referees programs and other educational programmes of instruction in.
- to provide, organise and supervise tournaments and competitions of every nature for members of the Federation.
- to offer, grant and contribute towards prizes, awards and distinction in connection with such tournaments and competitions.
- to help organise European Championships at Open, Masters and Junior grades and all other objects with the best interests of the sport.
- to provide for the sending of a worthy member or worthy members of the Federation to tournaments and competition of an International Nature.
- to sanction Open Tournaments in Europe.
- to sanction a European Open tournament which may at the direction of the Exco be held annually in any city and country which is an ERF-member.
- to represent and protect interest of European Racquetball internationally.
The ERF is governed by an executive committee (the ‘ExCo’). The following is a list of current and prior ExCo members:
Since 2011 : Mike Mesecke (Germany)
1997-2011 : Erik Meyer (Belgium)
1985-1997 : Jürgen Denk (Germany)
Since 2021 : Johnny O’Keeney (Ireland)
2013-2021 : Carlo Papini (Italy)
2011-2013 : Marco Arnoldi (Italy)
2005-2011 : Mike Mesecke (Germany)
2003-2005 : Gary Lynch (Ireland)
2001-2003 : Michael Haverty (Ireland)
1985-2001 : Philipp Duignan (Ireland)
Since 2019 : Mikan van Zanten (Netherlands)
2014-2019 : Pascal Matla (Netherlands)
2013-2014 : Mike Mesecke (Germany) interim
2011-2013 : Gary Lynch (Ireland)
2005-2011 : Michael Haverty (Ireland)
2000-2005 : Pascal Matla (Netherlands)
1985-2000 : René Hehemann (Netherlands)
Since 1999 : Karel Matla (Netherlands)
1998-1999 : René Hehemann (Netherlands)
1997-1998 : Mike Mesecke (Germany)
1985-1997 : Mareike Hillen (Belgium)
2015-2016 : Uwe Otterbein (Germany)
2014-2015 : J.D. Lattuca (Italy)
2011-2014 : Michael Haverty (Ireland)
2005-2011 : Pascal Matla (Netherlands)