SPORT IN GERMANY
Enlarge image (© picture-alliance / Gladys Chai v) FACTS AND FIGURES
Sport means more than competition – it also stands for fairness, respect and human encounters. Sport can be a great force for integration, bringing people together across national frontiers.
International Sport Promotion
“Moving People – Overcoming Borders” is the motto of the German Federal Foreign Office’s international sport-promotion programme. Sport can help realize foreign-policy objectives. Promoting sport makes a contribution to preventing and resolving conflicts and helps build civil-society structures in emerging democracies and developing countries. The focus is primarily on popular sports. Especially for many traumatized children and young people in developing countries, sport offers a unique opportunity to experience community spirit, develop self-confidence and find a new perspective in life. Since 1961, the Federal Foreign Office has implemented more than 1,300 sports projects in some 100 countries. Its partner organizations in this are the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), the German Football Association (DFB), the German Athletics Association (DLV) and the Sports University in Leipzig. The Federal Foreign Office provides over five million euros a year for international sport-promotion projects. In the year of FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011, international cooperation in sport will be a special focus of German foreign cultural and educational policy.
Land of Sport
Germany is a sport-loving country. One person in three is a member of a sports club. Football is the number-one sport – and not only among men: more than a million girls and women play in football clubs. The German Football Association (DFB) is the biggest individual sport association in the world with 6.7 million members playing in 26,000 clubs. The DFB is a member of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), the largest sports organization in the world with about 27 million members in 90,000 clubs. The DOSB promotes both top-level competitive sport and leisure sports. Apart from football, the most popular forms of leisure sport in Germany are gymnastics, tennis, shooting, athletics and handball. This enthusiasm for sport has repeatedly produced many top athletes. Germany is one of the top nations in the eternal medals table of the Olympic Games. And at the Winter Olympics, German athletes are actually top of the medals table. Although many people no longer join a sports club these days, large numbers simply do sport on their own. There is a definite trend towards individual sports – such as jogging, walking, cycling, fitness training in the gym or dancing – because they are more flexible in terms of time.