The Department of Sports Science: Much more than acrobatics and Zumba

On 16 October 1978, the sports study programme kicks off with the appointment of Professor Dr. Dietrich Kurz. 52 students begin their studies for the Sekundarstufe II qualification, the teacher training qualification for advanced secondary and comprehensive schools. The Sports Office had been in existence since 1971 under the leadership of senior lecturer Eberhard Kunze. In addition to planning and setting up the sports institute, this Office also had the task of organising and running the general university sports courses for all university members. From the winter semester 1971/1972 onwards, students, teachers and employees were able to take advantage of the ever-growing range of university sports courses available.

Report on the Sports study programme and the University Sports Service. Excerpt from the documentation “Die Innenwelt der Denkfabrik” (“Inside the thought factory”) from 1981.

Source: Universitätsarchiv Bielefeld, FS 22

The Sports Science programme programme began in 1978 with a reform concept called “bridging theory and practice”. This meant that Bielefeld University insisted that teachers be at home in both areas, with one leg in sports practice and the other in sports science, as it were. This was unconventional, because until then sports studies had usually been divided into theoretical and practical elements. This alternative approach, devised by the sports office, has been pursued to the present day. In 1980, as part of the integration of the Pädagogische Hochschule (teacher training college), the Faculty of Psychology and Sports Sciences was established.

  • Start of the teacher training course in Sports at Bielefeld University with the appointment of Professor Dr. Dietrich Kurz (left), next to him the Vice-rector Dr. Dietrich Storbeck and Eberhard Kunze, head of the Sports Office.

    Photo: Seutter
    Source: Universitätsarchiv Bielefeld, FOS 01989
  • Members of the Akaflieg (academic flying group) of Bielefeld University at the launch of a power glider on 21 June 1975.

    Photo: unbekannt
    Source: Universitätsarchiv Bielefeld, FOS 00770
  • Weights room of university sports facilities, 1979.

    Photo: Seutter
    Source: Universitätsarchiv Bielefeld, FOS 01986
  • Launch of the boat “Sub II” of the sailing association of the University, 1979.

    Photo: Hänsen
    Source: Universitätsarchiv Bielefeld, FOS 00775
  • Award ceremony for the team of Faculty III at the Faculty Football Tournament of the University on 25 June 1980.

    Photo: Seutter
    Source: Universitätsarchiv Bielefeld, FOS 00777
  • Günter Jesgarzewski (left) and Dieter Hansmeier playing wheelchair table tennis, 1981. Later became Jesgarzewski world champion at the Table Tennis Championships of the Handicapped on October 5, 1982 in Stoke-Mandeville (England).

    Photo: Johner
    Source: NW Archiv (Universitätsarchiv Bielefeld, FOS 00780)
  • 3rd folk dance meeting of the folk dance and traditional costume groups of East Westphalia at Bielefeld University, 1985.

    Photo: Seutter
    Source: Universitätsarchiv Bielefeld, FOS 00781
  • Inauguration of the new beach volleyball facility by Rektor Professor Dr. Gert Rickheit (left) in 1999.

    Photo: Langohr
    Source: Universitätsarchiv Bielefeld, FOS 00788
  • Champagne reception by Rektor Prof. Dr. Gert Rickheit (right) for the winners of the Handball University Championships in 2000.

    Photo: Langohr
    Source: Universitätsarchiv Bielefeld, FOS 00789

Diversity of university sport

The University Sports Service is still run by the Department of Sports Science. A large variety of sporting events and courses have been organised over the last decades – beginning with the University’s in-house football tournaments of the 1970s, through the organisation of university championships in handball or apparatus gymnastics to fitness training and classes in the trend sports Zumba and Body Pump. Bielefeld University also made a name for itself in disability sport when a member of staff at its computer centre, Günther Jesgarzewski, won the world championship in wheelchair table tennis in 1982.