Athletics stronghold Erding: "Here everyone is fully committed"
Created: 08/10/2022, 14:04
By: Dieter Priglmeir
The Vice Presidents of the German Athletics Association, Jochen Schweitzer (l.) and Hartmut Grothkopp (r.), revealed the importance of the city in athletics in an interview with sports director Dieter Priglmeir.
© Wolfgang Krzizok
Two DLV Vice Presidents explain why Germany's best athletes come to Erding.
Erding – The marathon runners made the start.
The Benfares sisters have been training at the Sepp Brenninger Stadium since Monday.
Around 60 other German athletes and their trainers, supervisors and medical staff are arriving these days.
The national team will be guests in Erding until Friday.
There will be a photo shoot at Schrannenplatz tomorrow at 6.30 p.m.
The large district town as the host of athletics - in an interview with the local newspaper, the two DLV Vice Presidents Hartmut Grothkopp and Jochen Schweitzer revealed that this is no coincidence.
Mr. Grothkopp, is the public allowed to know about the photo shoot on Thursday?
Hartmut Grothkopp: Why not?
Our athletes really like having direct contact with people.
They are happy about the interest in their sport.
There will be some autograph and photo requests.
Grothkopp: Unfortunately, that is only possible to a certain extent.
We ask for your understanding that you shouldn't get too close to people in Corona times.
But you can assume that you will also see our athletes in private in a café in the city center.
A good half of the 120 athletes will be here in Erding with trainers and supervisors at the pre-camp.
You will be accommodated in two hotels in the city.
Jochen Schweitzer: By the way, in the same two hotels as 20 years ago when the European Championships were also held in Munich.
Grothkopp: It's not just the proximity to the Olympic Park that speaks for Erding.
Geisling's next injury shock
From dressage to western riding
Schweitzer: The city tried very hard for us.
Mayor Max Gotz, master builder Sebastian Henrich and the entire administration - I found everyone to be highly committed.
I would even say: Everyone here is fully committed.
How is that expressed?
Grothkopp: Just look at this stadium alone.
This is a real gem.
Schweitzer: It's great how the Sepp Brenninger Stadium looks.
The city made a lot of money there.
For the railway alone, 188,000 euros were estimated for the renovation.
I don't know how much it ended up being.
But that turned out to be a big hit.
Grothkopp: Erding now has a Category B stadium. For clarity: Category A are arenas such as those in Berlin or Munich with eight or even nine round tracks.
Erding already has six lanes.
That means: German senior or youth championships can take place here.
Schweitzer: And that also happens.
In September, 2000 seniors will hold their DM here.
Welcome to Erding – that was already the case in 2002, when the national team and stars like Heike Drechsler made guest appearances in the ducal city.
Erding as an athletics stronghold.
There was or is not the local superstar who would have fueled this.
Grothkopp: That's not even necessary.
It is important to have committed people – in the club and with the political decision-makers.
Schweitzer: And that just fits here.
The athletics department of TSV Erding, with the Weber family at the helm, does so much for our sport.
And with Max Gotz, the city also has a mayor who loves sport and, by the way, hardly ever misses an athletics event.
Grothkopp: Of course, the city council also has to play its part.
Schweitzer: Everyone pulls together in Erding.
Grothkopp (to Schweitzer): As Erdinger, you must know that.
What is the advantage for Erding if the German Vice President comes from Eichenkofen?
Schweitzer: I can see directly on site how much heart and soul is put into the work and that all events – and we have had a lot here in the past two years – have worked extremely well.
The association can award championships here with a clear conscience.
Grothkopp: Again: German youth championships will definitely be held here in the future.
And, of course, local school sport also benefits from these conditions.
Erding has done a great deal for sustainability here.
Speaking of sustainability: The future of German athletics does not look very rosy.
Some athletes have already commented on this.
Grothkopp: And that is also your right.
We don't muzzle anyone.
It's also the case that the framework conditions are very different when semi-professionals compete against full professionals.
You mention financial support.
Grothkopp: Politicians should simply do more for competitive sport.
In addition, the coaching profession does not find the recognition it deserves.
If you make ends meet better as a teacher than as a coach in international competitive sports, that says a lot.
Then you lose the best.
Schweitzer: And one shouldn't forget that the proportion of countries that win medals is now much larger.
A lot of countries have caught up.
In our sport you don't need an ice track or anything like that that always produces the same winners.
Grothkopp: And while diversity of disciplines is important to us, smaller countries focus on individual disciplines and are successful.
Nevertheless: The association may have been surprised by the performance at the most recent World Cup in the USA.
Grothkopp:_ There were of course a number of things – injuries, breakdowns, illnesses – that you couldn't necessarily count on.
But of course: Of course we do demand that the coaches adjust their athletes in such a way that they are in top form during the highlights.
And what is the highlight this year: the World Cup or the European Championship at home?
Grothkopp: The Olympics and World Championships are at the top and are also crucial for state funds.
An EM is actually only in third place.
But successes at a European Championship in your own country would of course have a special effect on the public, which would be very helpful for us.
How many medals should there be?
Grothkopp: There is no medal requirement.
Schweitzer: We won 19 medals at the European Championships in Berlin.
We may not quite make it.
Grothkopp: It would be important for us that our young people are in top form.
We would wish for personal best times and distances.
But of course another message is also important for us: The European Championships should also show that we could also do the Olympics.
Schweitzer: We want to send that signal.
Grothkopp (to Schweitzer): That's why you're currently on your feet 16 hours a day.
When does this stop?
Schweitzer: The games haven't even started yet.
Dieter Priglmeir conducted the interview.
The interview partners
Hartmut Grothkopp is Vice President of the Executive Committee of the German Athletics Association and is responsible for competitive sports.
Jochen Schweitzer is Vice President of both the Bavarian State Association and the DLV.
The 39-year-old teacher (Holy Blood Girls' Realschule) lives in Eichenkofen.