EUSA Insider:

German University Sports Federation

Founded: 1948
Current Headquarters: Dieburg
Website:                                                                                            Published 16 October 2020

Firstly, for those who do not know, please tell us a bit about your National University Sports Association …
The German University Sports Federation (ADH), founded on April 2, 1948 in Bayrischzell by student sports officers following the Swiss model, is the umbrella organisation of university sports institutions in Germany. It is the only German federation that targets students and university employees. Over 200 universities and universities of applied sciences with approximately 2.5 million students and 550 000 employees are currently members of ADH.

In addition to actively representing the interests of its member universities, ADH concentrates on national and international competitive sports, qualification and knowledge management.

ADH and its partners also prepare project developments and maintain partnerships, memberships and cooperation with 40 national and international organisations in sports and at universities.

Can you describe some of the major events your NUSA has hosted in recent years, both national and international?
For two consecutive years, Hamburg hosted the WUC Beach Volleyball 2008 and the EUC Volleyball 2009 with a large field of participants. In 2012, the WUC Riding was organised in Aachen.

From September 10th to 12th 2015, the Center for University Sports of Leibniz University Hannover organised the 9th European University Rowing Championship in Hannover. 600 participants from 18 nations from around 30 European universities had announced their participation in this top-class sporting event.

In 2018, ADH together with the Technical University of Munich hosted the WUC Beach Volleyball which was named the best WUC of the year. In addition, countless German University Sports Championships as well as educational and association events have been organised.

WUC Beach Volleyball 2008

What have been some of the highlights for your NUSA in recent years?
Some highlights for the German University Sports Association have been the before-mentioned alignments of the EUC Rowing 2015 in Hannover, the WUC Beach Volleyball 2018 in Munich as well as the bid for the Rhein-Ruhr 2025 Summer World University Games in Germany.

How important are the EUSA events – both sporting and educational – for your NUSA?
The EUSA competitions offer German students a great opportunity to present themselves on the international competition scene. Participating in the EUSA competitions, they represent their university which makes these competitions much more special to the athletes.

The EUSA Games as well as the EUSA Championships are a very attractive competition for German students to compare themselves on an international level and to also experience intercultural exchange. The German universities are always represented with a very high number of participants.

In 2019 the ADH was awarded the EUSA prize "Most active NUSA 2009-2019", which underlines the importance of EUSA events for ADH and its member universities.

“Participating in the EUSA competitions, students represent their university which makes these competitions much more special to the athletes.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted university sport across the world. How was your NUSA able to adapt to the situation, what activities have you still managed to organise and are there any positives you have noted from these difficult circumstances?
Many German university sports facilities had to close temporarily due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, they reacted quickly and were able to offer many of their programmes digitally or hybrid. That said, ADH implemented a hub on its website to collect all digital activities of its member universities, sorted them and made them available for everyone.

While some smaller university sports facilities are still struggling to restart their activities, a few National University Championships will fortunately be held again in the 2020/21 winter semester.

However, one positive aspect of the crisis is that the network of member universities is very well developed and the willingness for mutual support is very high.

EUC Rowing Hannover 2015

Finally, what does the future of university sport in your country hold?
The future of university sports in Germany will be influenced by two major incidents: the Covid-19 pandemic and the planned hosting of the Rhein-Ruhr 2025 FISU World University Summer Games. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought individual university sports facilities and ADH even closer together and has made them aware of the added value of their resources. Although it is unclear to what extent competitive sports can be performed again on a regular basis, it can already be stated that university sports will change. New competition formats, like the DHM Karate organised as an eTournament, are alternatives that are currently being implemented.

The 2025 WUG will raise the awareness of university sport in public, but also within the political context, and is a great opportunity for ADH to boost the recognition and relevance of university sports in Germany.

EUSA wishes the German University Sports Federation well for all their future endeavours, and looks forward to seeing their NUSA members and student-athletes at many of our events in future!