Oftersheim. “Everything has an end”, as the saying goes over and over again. In the club life of Oftersheim there was such a regrettable end on Saturday evening. After the judo club was founded in April 1980, it should come to a conclusion this year. “The resolution had been fixed since the end of last year,” reports Dr. Markus Lauff, a former board member and close friend of the club. After more than 40 years, the decision was made to end the club’s era.
A guest of honor at the dissolution of the association was definitely Werner Keller, the “association father”, who not only kept the association alive for many years, but is even one of the founding members in the historical document.
Judoclub Oftersheim is dissolved: “Mister Judo” gets a fitting farewell
Markus Lauff admits in his speech: “After Werner asked me if I could help him to dissolve the JCO, I was initially a bit nostalgic.”
Nevertheless, he is helping and in this context not only wants to think one last time about the JCO as an association, but above all about “Spiritus rector” Keller.
For Werner Keller, the dissolution event was a successful surprise. On the part of the former members, too, the joy of seeing each other again outweighed it and there was a last cheer for the association. “Werner has trained three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for several decades and has spent a total of more than 5000 hours on the judo mat. Certainly 1500 hours in competitions as well”, counts Lauff, board member of TSV Oftersheim, appreciatively in his speech.
Judoclub Oftersheim is dissolved: active outside the mats
But there was also lively club activity outside of the Oftersheimer Kampfmatten. So you can look back on numerous meetings after competitions in the club restaurants “Neue Welt” and later “Grünes Laub”. “I also like to remember the many bike rides on May 1st, barbecues at the barbecue hut and the many summer holiday programs,” says the former chairman. In 2020, one of the founding members, Werner Strittmatter, was even appointed federal referee, which is just one of the many successes of the judoka. Another success was definitely the increased DAN awards, the high belt grades in martial arts. Werner Keller deserves a special mention here: “On this day, Werner, you were the first judoka in the Mannheim sports district to receive the sixth DAN from Norbert Nolte.”
Norbert Nolte, representative of the Baden Judo Association, could not be present in person, but he sent touching words of greeting to his sports friend. The personal words concern memories on the judo mats, but around those as active officials in the regional judo sport. Above all, Keller is an “expert in the judo scene”. This not only earned him the extraordinarily rare high belt grade, but also a badge of honour. Nolte’s hope for a successor for a judo club in Oftersheim remain.
After these words of welcome and many congratulations, it was time to honor and bid farewell to numerous other former executive board officials and long-standing members. These include founding members and successful athletes. The successes go beyond remarkably high belt colors.
German champions, southern German champions and multiple Baden champions are among the club friends who are meeting together for the last time in the name of the club, in the name of their martial arts.