Eckernforde needs to do better in sports

Eckernford. Exercising in Eckernförde is fun. But there is also a problem: the hours of the hall are not always optimally planned. There are quite a few swimming lessons in the Baltic Sea resort. Many people are not aware of the new free sports offers. There are no outdoor areas for dancing.

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These are some of the results of a survey conducted in schools, clubs and sports. It was commissioned by the town of Eckernforde. In October 2022, Eckernförde Touristik- und Marketing GmbH (ETMG) distributed 2,000 questionnaires. You can also vote online.

Children are a big part of Eckernförde’s sports survey

According to Stefan Borgmann, head of ETMG, the fact that only 327 questionnaires were completed is normal for surveys of this size. “Nevertheless, the result is meaningful. I am happy about the high participation of children and young people under 13 years of age, who otherwise rarely have a voice. 28 percent of the responses came from the age group.” On the other hand, 14- to 17-year-olds and young adults held back almost entirely.

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Borgman presented the results at the first sports conference in Eckernforde on Saturday. Representatives of clubs, sports initiatives, private sports providers and other stakeholders participated. In 2019, the Political Committee for Culture, Youth and Sports decided to involve citizens more in the planning of sports development. “But we had to keep postponing it because of Corona,” explained Sports Committee Chairman Torsten Peyster (SSW).

More than a quarter of sports participants in Eckernforde are not organized

A good half of the respondents participate in sports in clubs. 17 percent are active in gyms and other sports schools. 27 percent are “disorganized”. They run, swim, do other water sports, ride bicycles on their own.

More than a third of the attendees expressed their support for Borgman’s “Unorganized Sports Activity” workshop, including club members. Meanwhile, others devoted themselves to “cooperation between clubs and schools”.

Borgman’s group hit the ground running. Björn Fischer from the German Life Saving Society (DLRG) enthusiastically defended the point made by the ETMG: corporate swimming sponsorships for courses and for families struggling to pay rent. The hall belongs to Stadtwerke SH, which did not send anyone to the conference. Discussions with the carrier regarding hall timings have so far been considered difficult. Borgman promised to support.

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Very few children learn to swim in Eckernforde

DLRG has long complained that too few children learn to swim at the beach. As a volunteer provider that primarily trains lifeguards, the local group can hardly handle the need alone. The result is long waiting lists for children’s swimming lessons.

Eckernförde sports survey results

327 people participated in the sports survey conducted by Eckernförde City Marketing. 2000 questionnaires were distributed. 47 percent of the answers were given to men, 37 percent to women. The rest did not provide any information. Most respondents were 13 years of age or older (28 percent). This was followed by 26 to 45 year olds (21 percent) and 46 to 65 year olds (18 percent). 77 percent of the responses came from people living in Eckernforde.

54 percent are active in clubs. 27 percent are not organized. 34 percent use gyms, 14 percent use indoor swimming pools, 17 percent use sports fields, and 9 percent use the beach. Swimming (14 percent) and running and dancing (12 percent each) are considered the most popular sports. Only ten percent of football actives took part in the survey, as often as fitness fans.

Respondents lack more swimming (29 percent), other ball sports (16 percent), climbing opportunities and purely recreational sports (14 percent each). Ten percent want more sports for children. Top specific wishes: indoor center, (planned) skate park, public dance floor, trampoline and climbing hall, agility park.

Two providers came together for different types of water sports: Tanja Miranda’s private SUP school and a yoga instructor who teaches relaxation on the board. The latter also learned at the seminar that such proposals can be easily announced through ETMG’s online event calendar.

Idea: App for spontaneous sports in Eckernförde

Jan-Ole Hoffmann from Balteckbars proposed a sports app to inform interested parties about spontaneous and weather-dependent offers with push messages. At the rowing club, he ran into the open doors. Borgman added that a new flyer, which will also be available digitally, will soon summarize all the proposals. The app is a good idea.

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The youth club Balteckbars in Hoffmann shows that something works when sports fans don’t give up. It grew out of a student initiative of street work and even led the city to establish the Calisthenics Park. “This shows that it is worth bringing ideas,” concluded the head of ETMG. “The sports conference will definitely be repeated.”

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