The German Sport Complex

Faculty of Applied Health Sciences

The German Sport Complex

Blog Post#5: The German Sport Complex

Life continues to be busy and exciting at Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen. I am learning a lot of things about the German sport system from my students, my colleagues, and from my recent visit to the Turnverein 1861 Rottenburg sport club, TVR 1861 if you want to use the short form. Rottenburg is approximately 15 kilometres southwest of Tübingen and has a population of 43,000 people – roughly half the size of Tübingen. The sport club is situated in a beautiful location with great indoor and outdoor facilities. Sports like football, volleyball, handball, basketball, athletics, beach volleyball, bmx or bicycle motorcross, aikido, badminton, judo, and inline skating to name a few. The club also offers a number of fitness classes for all ages. They even have a gym specifically for children where they have a foam ‘pit’ for the perfect landing in case of a fall from the climbing wall, the swinging ropes, or the trampoline – in other words, the fun room! TVR 1861 is really a model club because of the size of its membership (more than 4,000 members) and the diversity of programs they offer to their members – young and old. They also have among its programs, professional volleyball. In blog #3, I discussed the season opener for TVR against the team from Berlin. The sport club system in Germany is really the foundation of active communities. If I could only ‘bottle’ TVR 1861’s and bring it back to Canada, I think we could seriously increase the levels of sport participation among Canadians! Here’s the website url of the club if you want to practice your German
My past few weeks also featured the visit of the Burg Hohenzollern Castle – Wow, I could live there, maybe use it as my summer home. The castle is situated at the top of a mountain in the Schwäbian Alb and it looks like someone took a page right out of a children’s fairy tale book – check out the website and the history of the castle at

It was the perfect Fall day for a visit of the castle with sunshine and blue sky and great company with my colleagues from work, Ursula, Monika, and Kim and Rebecca. We took a guided tour, in English, so I learned a lot about the history of the region Hechigen, the Prussian royalty, and, of course, the history of the castle. You will see from some of the pictures how beautiful this castle is ... I really felt like I belong there, I wanted to stay! But alas down the hill we went and back to Tübingen for a great home cook meal at Ursula’s home! A meal fit for a Queen (of Canada)!
Last week, a group of us from work went to a local joint known as a Besenwirtschaft (I think, loosely translated as broom). It is a type of pub without beer where you can drink wine that the owners of this ‘pub’ have made and you can also eat food and of course, there’s always mineral water and apple juice. These types of pub are only opened a few weeks before Christmas and a few weeks before Easter and when they are opened, the owners put a broom above the door to the house. You guessed it, that’s where the name broom originates. Apparently, these pubs are very unique to the Baden Württemberg region. This pub was packed with people – very understandable when you consider that the food was great, the wine was good, and the prices were very reasonable. It is a local tradition that I would not have known about as a tourist without the introduction from my great colleagues at work.
In my next blog, I will most certainly discuss the Schokoladen (Chocolat) Festival in Tübingen and of course, the Christmas markets taking place in many towns in Germany!

Until next week ... Tchüss,
Lucie T.

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Portrait of Lucie Thibault
Lucie Thibault

Brock University Professor
Visiting Scholar @
Universität Tübingen
Germany, Fall 2010