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30 November 2017 | in NUSF News

German University Sports Federation elects new chair

Jörg Förster elected by clear majority to lead German University Sport during an assembly that emphasized the importance of dual career to steer sport and society 

Jorg Forster and Peter Beuth

GIESSEN – At the German University Sports Federation (adh) 112th General Assembly on November 26th and 27th Jörg Förster, head of Hamburg University Sport, was elected chairman in a clear majority. Mr. Förster was formerly responsible for the federation’s finances. Dr. Melanie Haag of the University of Stuttgart will succeed Mr. Förster in his former position.


Panel discussion at the 112th adh assembly


The 112th General Assembly was inaugurated with greetings by acting Chairman Jörg Förster, who looked back over the past year and in particular described the changes since the introduction of the new statues. He also gave insights into current topics, including the joint initiative between adh and the Techniker Krankenkasse that started a nationwide campaign to promote exercise in which 32 Universities took part. He also emphasized the competition highlights of German athletes in 2017, particularly at the Almaty Winter Universiade and the Taipei Summer Universiade.


The Vice President of the Justus Liebig University Giessen, Prof. Peter Winker, welcomed the delegates of the 196 member universities and highlighted some of the projects of the general university sports in Giessen. These projects included active break times for employees and students and organising this year’s edition of the country’s university volleyball championship.


Two of the women's long jump medalists from Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade, Germany's Anna Buehler and Romania's Alina Rotaru


Sport and education noted as key to sport’s present and future development

"We are currently experiencing troubled times in sports," said Peter Beuth, Minister of the Interior and Sport of the State of Hesse. In his welcoming speech, the minister underlined the important position of the adh and its members as the link between sport and education as a way to navigate through these times.


Beuth emphasised that the promotion of a dual career must be brought into focus in the current structural discussion of German sports by the adh. He also stressed the importance of university sports in the areas of competitive and recreational sports as well as health prevention. Dietlind Grabe-Bolz, mayor of the city of Giessen, also commented on this in her speech and highlighted the university sports of the University of Giessen for its commitment in health promotion and dual career.


Keynote address: Which competitive sports do we want in the adh and at the universities?


The new board at adh 

The keynote speech of the night came from Sylvia Schenk, Head of a Working Group focusing on sports at Transparency International Germany, which addresseded the question "Which competitive sports do we want in the adh and at the universities?". Top athlete and three-time Universiade medalist Sarah Köhler (University of Heidelberg), adh-board member David Storek (University of Lüneburg), Prof. Maike Tietjens (Vice-Rector of the WWU Münster) and Wolfgang Hillmann (President of the German Hockey Federation) together with Sylvia Schenk and moderator Wolf-Dieter Poschmann discussed this question as well as the support system for athletes in Germany in general.


The political explosiveness of the topic in connection with the current discussion on competitive sport reform as well led to an intensive discussion, which brought the values ​​and goals of adh into focus.


Honorary adh membership bestowed upon Doris Schmidt


Honorary adh member Doris Schmidt 

Jörg Förster and adh-honorary member Thomas Beyer suggested to make Doris Schmidt (TU Berlin) an honorary member, which was confirmed by the General Assembly with long applause and standing ovations. This was followed by verbal additions to the written reports by the members of the executive board. The project team presented the upcoming round of the adh-project “tandem mentoring” which will go into its seventh round in 2018 and can now be applied for.


Highlights in German University Sport’s Education and Development areas


 Panel discussion from the 112th adh General Assembly

The advisory board on education and development presented its work of the last months and the sports advisory council reported on its meeting which was held the day before. Lothar Bösing (Technical Delegate Basketball) was re-elected as spokesman for the council and Michael Mahler (Technical Delegate fencing) was elected as his representative. In the evening, all members gathered in the VIP area of ​​the Giessen 46ers (first league basketball-team) for some social interaction including intensive exchange. They were welcomed by Lena Schalski, university sports director of the University of Giessen) and the head of the city’s sports office, Tobias Erben.


After a successful evening, the following day started with the report from the student council and the University Sports Marketing Corporation. The session continued in plenum before the auditors presented their report. Jörg Förster presented the 2016 financial statements and the 2018 plan in his role as board member for finance and answered emerging questions.


Education and Development Election Results


Falk Wendrich of Germany took the men's high jump title at the Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade

The advisory board on education and development also needed to reelect for two positions. Timo Nocke (University of Kassel) and Colja Homann (University of Münster) were elected as new board members. It was once again explicitly pointed out to the membership the importance to motivate student members to become involved in this and other committees.

With gratitude to the team of the host university, the JLU Giessen, the participants of the 112th general assembly were invited to next year’s general assembly, which will be held the 18-19 November in Potsdam.