German University Sports Federation elects new Chair

German University Sports Federation elects new Chair

German University Sports Federation (ADH) held its annual General Assembly on November 26 and 27 in Giessen. After resignation of the former Chairwoman in late October, it was necessary to elect a new Chair. Head of Hamburg University Sport Mr Joerg Foerster, who has formerly been responsible for finances, was elected by a clear majority; and Melanie Haag from the University of Stuttgart will succeed on his former position.

Mr Foerster started the 112th General Assembly by giving an overview of the past year and the changes since the introduction of the new statues, as well as introduction of current topics and initiatives, like the national health promotion campaign at German Universities. Furthermore, the competition highlights from Winter Universiade in Almaty and the Summer Universiade in Taipei were presented. The Vice President of the Justus Liebig University Giessen, Mr Peter Winker, also welcomed the delegates of the 196 member universities and highlighted some of the university sports projects, including the project on active break times for employees and students, as well as the organization of German university volleyball championship in June 2017.

Mr Peter Beuth and Mr Joerg Foerster

"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 ADH and its members as the interface between sport and education. The promotion of dual career must be brought into focus in the current structural discussion of German sports by ADH, Beuth emphasized. He also stressed the importance of university sports in the areas of competitive and recreational sports as well as health prevention. Ms 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.

Panel discussion

As usually, the Assembly was also accompanied by educational part. Ms Sylvia Schenk, Head of a Working Group focusing on sports at Transparency International Germany, addressed the audience with a keynote speech on the question which competitive sports should ADH promote. Top athlete and three-time Universiade medalist Ms Sarah Koehler, ADH board member David Storek, Vice Rector of University of Munster Ms Maike Tietjens and President of the German Hockey Federation Mr Wolfgang Hillmann together with Ms Schenk, moderated by Mr Wolf-Dieter Poschmann discussed this question as well as the support system for athletes in Germany in general.

Honorary member Ms Doris Schmidt

The panel discussion was followed by the parliamentary part of the plenary session, including detailed reports of the executive board, presentation of the plans and social event. Doris Schmidt (TU Berlin) was named Honorary Member, confirmed by the Assembly with long applause and standing ovations.

Assembly procedures

The elections followed the following day, confirming Mr Foerster as ADH President. With gratitude to the team of the host university, the participants of the Assembly were invited to the next assembly, to be held in November 2018 in Potsdam.

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