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The History of Hi-Tec

Hi-Tec Sports was founded by our Chariman Frank Van Wezel in 1974.

Born in Vlissingen, The Netherlands, Frank’s success began early on in life. He graduated with honours from Nyenrode Business University, despite being the youngest in his year, before fulfilling his National Service obligations as a Lieutenant in the Dutch Air Force. Upon leaving the Air Force, Frank worked and studied in London and Paris, after which he lived in East Africa for 10 years.

Eventually, Frank transferred to Essex in England where his love of Squash and Tennis led to his involvement in the sports shoe industry. He was instrumental in the introduction of the first specialist Squash shoe which subsequently led to the creation of Hi-Tec Sports PLC.

From humble beginnings in 1974, the Company was floated on the London Stock Exchange in June 1988. Feeling stifled by the demands of the short-term profit goals of being a Public Company, Frank decided to privatise Hi-Tec Sports in 2000.

Almost 30 years on, 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, USA, Canada, 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 on this brand, visit www.magnumboots.com.

More than 19 million pairs of the company’s first shoe – the Squash Classic – have now been sold, and it continues to be one of our top selling shoes to this day.

More about Frank…

In July 2013, Frank 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. He was also a founding member of the Faculty Advisory Board of the University of Bath’s School of Management and is a member of the Stitching Nyenrode Fund, a fundraising organisation for the only private business university in The Netherlands.

Frank Van Wezel and his family have lived in England for more than 40 years, and he has two daughters and one son. His son and two sons-in-law 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 football team, Southend United, and is also a sponsor of the Southend Rugby Club. Frank also financially supports a couple of soccer clubs in Holland “Just for the love of the game!”.