A new Brussels-based office is the new European Headquarters of Heeling Sports EMEA, the regional affiliate of footwear specialist Heelys.

Heelys said the new office, which serves Europe, the Middle East and Africa, will set provisions for supporting Heelys' distributors.

The business, which has already begun operations, will also evaluate the region's distribution strategy and investment.

John O'Neil, vice president of International, leads an initial team of five full-time staff and will manage the business out of the EMEA office.

He is joined by finance and operations director Bertrand Grimmonpré. "By expanding our European presence, Heelys can invest in staff and offer increased support of the current distributors in the region, and evaluate future co-operative investments," said Heelys interim CEO Ralph Parks.

"Heeling Sports EMEA will enable the company to grow more aggressively and effectively in Europe."

O'Neil joined Heelys in July 2006 and has more than 24 years' experience in sports footwear. Grimmonpré, meanwhile, has extensive experience in finance and operations.