№ 376/2011 from Nov 30, 2011
On Wednesday the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) awarded Freie Universität Berlin along with seven other universities in Berlin the designation "Partner University of Top-class Sports." The universities selected for this award have undertaken special efforts to make studying at a university more compatible with top-class competitive sports. The DOSB president and former Olympic fencing champion Thomas Bach said that these universities provide an exemplary level of support for the dual careers of athletes. Currently there are nine high-performance athletes who compete in hockey, rowing, and sailing as well as being students at Freie Universität Berlin. Three of them enrolled at the beginning of the fall/winter semester 2011/12.
Bach further noted that the selected universities give the athletes an opportunity to closely coordinate the demands of high-performance sports and an academic education. This plays an important role in Germany’s ability to compete in world-class sports. Bach emphasized that dual careers for athletes, i.e., compatibility between training in their sporting discipline and completing an academic education, is a key foundation for success in high-performance sports.
The Berliner Verbundsystem Hochschulen – Olympiastützpunkt, or the Berlin Association of University Partners and Olympic Training Centers, is the first of its kind. In light of the sociopolitical importance of elite sports for public education, it is funded by the Working Committee for Sports Funding of Universities in the state of Berlin. The association supports athletes at universities through various measures. Among other things, it advises athletes on their selection of a degree program and provides assistance with applications. It also helps to coordinate flexible attendance, submission of papers, and examination dates, and it plans leaves of absence to allow time to prepare for competitions.
The Berliner Verbundsystem Hochschulen – Olympiastützpunkt is made up of:
Jörg Förster, Director, Center for Recreational Sports, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 838-54591, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org