Home Sport news “We have to arm ourselves” (daily newspaper Junge Welt)

“We have to arm ourselves” (daily newspaper Junge Welt)

by archysport

imago images/Karina Hessland

There is a need for action: extensive renovation and renovation work on the Oberhof luge track (June 3, 2020)

The “German Sports Venue Day” will take place for the first time in Cologne on October 28th. What is behind this premiere?

The name is associated with the intention to arouse the greatest possible interest in this important topic and to appeal to a wide audience. It is not for nothing that the date was set precisely at the time of the Cologne trade fair for the sports and leisure industry, or FSB for short, in order to address many of the exhibitors and experts who are involved in the planning, construction or operation of around 230,000 sports facilities in Germany . Overall, the decision-makers in the municipalities, districts and states are a large group of people who have to pull together when it comes to sports facilities. This day offers many of those involved a chance to meet and exchange ideas directly. Perhaps this will create something like a permanent body, a kind of national sports facility advisory council.

Almost everyone has something to do with sports facilities, whether as a pupil, hobbyist or top levelathlet. How do you, as the Federal Institute for Sports Science, view the topic of sports facilities and the associated “renovation backlog”, which the German Olympic Sports Confederation puts at 31 billion euros?

As a federal institute, we feel particularly committed to the scientific level and, with the targeted initiation of research projects, try to provide planners, operators and politicians with valid, objective analyzes as a basis for decision-making. We are currently funding a total of five research projects in the sports facilities department, including the “Swimming pool life” project, which will attempt to record and describe all swimming pools in Germany as precisely as possible by the end of 2022. Building on this, a “digital sports facility atlas Germany” is currently being developed as the most complete IT database possible, including a user interface. At the end of this year, we want to go online with a platform prototype that focuses on the identification of sports facilities nationwide and then gradually develop it into an overall mosaic that is as precise as possible with valid data. Also, for example, to determine more precisely the need for action in the renovation of sports facilities.

What do the smaller projects deal with?

For example, with the equally healthy and energy-efficient design of sports facilities, which, after the pandemic experience, mainly affects the ventilation technology in closed sports rooms. At the same time, a research project has been running since the middle of the year with the aim of preventing microplastics from being discharged from synthetic turf systems in the future. Definitely a political issue since the European Chemicals Agency, ECHA, tried to ban backfilling with plastic granulate when building new playing fields. It is estimated that there are more than 5,000 synthetic turf pitches nationwide. However, it is not known how many of them are filled with plastic granulate and will have to be filled with fillers made from harmless materials in the future. Nothing has been finally decided yet, but we have to arm ourselves and innovative solutions have to be developed. A transitional period of several years should be granted to give time to develop innovative solutions.

How could failures at the sports facilitiessbuild up a renovation in this way in front of everyone over the years?

With the “Golden Plan” in the old federal states from 1961 to 1975, 17.5 billion D-Marks and from 1975 to 1992 another almost 20 billion DM flowed into the expansion of a nationwide sports facility infrastructure, a huge sum in a relatively manageable period of time As a result, these sports facilities have now “grown old together” and would have to be renovated in accordance with current standards and today’s standards. Let us only think of factors that were completely unknown at the time, such as climate change, criteria for sustainability or demographic change. The sports behavior of the population has also changed in the meantime. “Restoring” sports facilities to their original state would be the wrong approach. In essence, it is about a contemporary, innovative and possibly cost-intensive further development. And across the board, with a level that is as uniform as possible from state to state.

What do you expect from the new federal government?

The construction and operation of sports facilities is a matter for the federal states and municipalities. Despite the federal system, the federal government is not left out. From my point of view, it would be good if the renovation of the sports facilities were anchored in the coalition agreement of the new federal government. When I started at the Federal Institute for Sport Science, or BISp for short, 16 years ago, the topic wasn’t high on the political agenda. Since then, it has gained more and more importance and has increasingly come into focus among the parties. In the BISp, as a networker at the interface between sport, science and politics, we can do our part with fact-based advice, because our tasks also include advising politics on questions of sport on the basis of objective, scientifically founded principles.

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