Great news that those responsible for central university sports in Munich have been able to take the first steps back to “normality” since the end of June and have now knitted an extensive range, as ZHS director Michael Hahn confirms in the interview.
Michael, you have been able to offer students and university staff a slimmer range of courses for a little more than two weeks. How long have you been back at the start?
Michael Hahn: With the permission of the Bavarian Ministry of Health, we have been allowed to start playing and practicing in tennis, golf and archery since May 11, 2020. Since June 29, 2020, with the approval of the Presidium of the Technical University of Munich, we have been able to start the course again.
How was it for you to have to wait longer compared to others.
We generally do not compare ourselves to others, neither in Bavaria nor in Germany. Every university sports facility has to deal with other conditions, be it of a spatial nature or in relation to the requirements of the state governments and university management. Of course, we do not like to wait, but we got used to waiting during the shutdown and practiced patience. Good things take time!
How did you work towards the restart in the meantime?
We have worked meticulously on general as well as sport-specific hygiene concepts as soon as the requirements of the state government made the sport operation possible again. We immediately forwarded these concepts to the TUM security department for review. These were then read by the TUM president and ultimately approved.
What challenges and problems did you have to overcome on your way back to normal?
For example, there were different interpretations of the state requirements for us as a state institution compared to private sports providers. The short-term recruitment of course leaders for the relatively short summer semester has also been difficult. And with every relaxation of the government, we had to reassure uncomprehending participants and explain to them why their sports could not yet be offered.
What has generally helped you with the implementation?
The willingness of the entire team to always remain calm in this particular situation and to adjust to the almost daily changing regulations with prudent enthusiasm helped ultimately to manage the restart spontaneously.
What exactly can you offer now?
We can mainly offer outdoor courses due to the poor ventilation options in our halls. For this reason, it is also not possible to operate the fitness studio. Basically, we offer almost 90% of our water sports program, which takes place in the Olympic swimming pool, on the regatta facility and at the water sports area on Lake Starnberg. There are also fitness courses, martial arts, athletics and mountain sports courses. Tennis has had a mega run since practicing freely. The same applies to beach volleyball for a few days.
What is planned for the next few weeks?
We will mainly expand the courses at Lake Starnberg. The fitness courses will continue over the summer. But since the semester will soon be over, the program is no longer being significantly expanded. This also applies to ball sports such as football, handball, volleyball or water polo, which we could take up again, but will be postponed to September in view of the short remaining time.
Article by Allgemeinen Deutschen Hochschulsportverband on the 17th of July 2020, which can be found here.