About Us

Barbenders Belgium is an organization focused on bringing the Belgian calisthenics community together. By unifying the community we hope to put Belgium on the map within the international spectrum.
Throughout events, competitions, workshops, initiations, the creation of safe and regulated calisthenics parks and much more we are working to make this sport official in Belgium.

Our team consists of 13 members. We have 4 board members, 6 members in the General Assembly & 3 Ambassadors that are working hard to help us reach our goals.

Mike Destuyver – CEO

With a Bachelor’s degree in Sport Sciences, a couple of seminars/ courses and three years of coaching experience at Dan Hunter Transformation Centre, I can say I learned a lot about ‘the art of coaching’ & the responsibilities of a coach. My experiences has taught me that my aspirations extend beyond coaching alone. I find fulfillment in the intricacies of business management—setting up efficient procedures, leading teams towards common goals, and creating opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Together, let’s create a space where everyone can flourish.

Nico Mertens – President

My mission is to establish a community where everyone feels at home, free from judgment, and united in support for each other’s endeavors. I am dedicated to fostering an uplifting mindset, encouraging mutual support, and creating an environment where individuals thrive collectively. Join me on this journey of building a community that not only values personal growth but also nurtures a spirit of encouragement and camaraderie.

Michael Mattelaer – COO

I’m Michael, a full-time personal trainer at Personal.Sportpraktijk in Mechelen. I have a bachelor degree in Ergotherapy, a gymnastics trainer diploma, and 200-hour yoga teacher training. Movement is my passion.

At Barbenders I am responsible of the social media. I also organize our epic competitions like the Belgian Street Workout Cup and the Barbenders Static cup.

Bohdan Pavlovich- CFO

Taxes by day, bars by night! 🏋️‍♂️💼 As a tax and legal advisor at HLB and the financial manager of Barbenders Belgium, I bring my expertise to new heights. But what really makes my heart beat faster? Calisthenics! As an addict to this sport and one of the groundfathers of Barbenders Belgium, I am always looking for new challenges and freestyle moves. Follow my adventures here and be inspired to hit the bars yourself. Let’s get strong together! 💪🔥

Ali Khalife – Partnerships & Communication

When I discovered calisthenics, I didn’t discover just a sport, I also discovered an amazing community who was able to connect virtually. With the Barbenders Static Cup, we want to create a space where the international community can connect in real life and share these magical moments together. It’s a continuation of what we achieved with the Belgian Street Workout Championship (BSWC), and together, let’s keep fostering growth and connection.

Mehdi Zeguendi – Community

Better known as HYPEMAN, I’m 26 years old, and I work as a coach at DH Transformation. I started calisthenics 3 years ago with Mike. He provided coaching and shared his ambitions with Barbenders, and I was captivated! A year later, I became an Ambassador and today, I am honoured to be the Community Director of Barbenders.
I strive to get as close as possible to the community and their well-being. With my HYPE, I try to make everyone feel comfortable and at home with us. All your questions are also welcome here.
Looking forward to meeting you at the open gym, one of our competitions, or elsewhere. STREEET… 

Eneas Vanneste – Social Media

I’m Eneas Vanneste, more than just an IT student and entrepreneur. With a passion for calisthenics and a certified personal trainer, I blend technological know-how with a commitment to a healthy lifestyle. My favorite calisthenics discipline is statics, mastering moves like the front lever and planche. Yet, where I truly shine is in my love for people. 

Let’s strive for strength, health, and a fantastic time together at Barbenders Belgium!

Jari Lockefer – Social Media

Meet Jari, a passionate mechanic with a love for calisthenics. Standing at an impressive 190cm, this towering individual defies expectations with his remarkable prowess in training front levers. While his expertise lies in fixing things under the hood, he also mastered the art of defying gravity through the discipline of calisthenics, with the front lever being his absolute favorite.

Déborah Cracco – Ambassador

 She has a diverse professional trajectory, accumulating two years of experience as a coach and sales representative in a gym before transitioning to the telecommunications sector. Her dedication is evident not only in her career but also in her relentless pursuit of mastering the handstand, coupled with an enthusiastic exploration of static figures and street-lifting. Adding a funny touch to her profile, a fact is that her petite stature sometimes requires assistance to reach the bar.

Mohamed el Jaroudi – Ambassador

Hey everyone, my name is Mohamed. I’m a 19 years old medicine student who started calisthenics 2,5 years ago. I started this sport to get fitter and for the health benefits, but when I got stronger I really wanted to learn some insane static skills. My favourite discipline is the planche. A fun fact about me is that I learnt a handstand push up way earlier than a clean muscle up

Yassine el Jaroudi – Ambassador

Hey everyone, my name is Yassine and I do calisthenics for almost 3 years. My goal is to become one of the best static athletes in the world. Outside my sport, I study medecine. It would be my big dream to become a sport doctor. In that way I can combine calisthenics and my job. I also have twin brother which is as good as me in calisthenics. We try to push eachother to become better and better.

Let’s make Calisthenics grow Together!

“If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together”.

African Proverb – Martha Goedert