Conference on top-level sports at universities

While some hundred metres away, top-student rowers from all over Europe fought for medals on Lake Maschsee at the European Universities Rowing Championships 2015 (EUC Rowing), the German University Sports Federation held a conference on top-level sports at universities in the HDI arena on September 11, 2015.

During the convention, representatives of universities and experts provided an insight in the perspectives of the promotion of top-level sports at German universities. In the context of the cooperation “partner universities of top-level sports“ by the German University Sports Federation, delegates of university sports and the board of the hosting organisation – among others, Felix Arnold, chairman of the board, and Christoph Fischer, general secretary. Jörg Förster, Director of University Sport Service of the Freie Universität Berlin, guided through the programme.

The beginning was made by Prof. André Schneider und Jeanette Rau from the university of Mittweida, who introduced their pilot survey on the evaluation of the brand “partner universities of top-level sports“ using the example of Saxonian universities. The survey is based on expert interviews, which Jeanette Rau had conducted with members of universities in Saxony, revealed that communication between universities and top-athletes who aim for a dual career is expandable.

Subsequently, Sarah Seidl from the University of Mannheim presented a best-practice survey on the promotion of top-level sports at her university. In addition, Dr. Barbara Halberschmidt from Munster, Germany, gave a report on the successful method for promoting top-level sports of her university.

After the coffee break, Andy Borchert from the Humboldt-Universität Berlin and Andreas Hülsen from the Olympic base Berlin reported on “Transition Management in Top-Level Sports: Success or Dropout?”. They came to the conclusion that for a successful dual career not only the transition from school to higher education has to be managed successfully but that the social career simultaneously mustn’t be neglected. According to the career advisor Hülsen, transition management is the best prevention of dropouts.

Finally, Jörg Förster gave future prospects. He presented the status of realisation of the EU-guidelines on dual careers of athletes, a project developed by a European expert group, for which many EU countries have contributed their expertise on handling dual careers. In the guidelines, the issue of how a corporate identity of the EU concerning a dual careers of top-athletes is possible is addressed. Moreover the project depicts how other nations deal with the topic of dual careers. Förster concluded with the request to take care of the development of the project “partner universities of top-level sports“.

All participants had the opportunity to watch dual careers in practice the following day at Lake Maschsee. The finals of EUC Rowing built the closure of the conference.