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World-class sports needs world-class partners

Stiftung Deutsche Sporthilfe

From Bauerfeind Life Magazin on 03.07.2024

When the Olympic Games start on July 26 in Paris, the goal is to bring out the best performance. This would be impossible without the help of Sporthilfe, an German organization that supports around 4,000 athletes every year. Thomas Berlemann, Chairman of the Management Board of the foundation knows how important it is to active athletes, and how Sporthilfe supports elite athletes after the end of their careers.

life: Stiftung Deutsche Sporthilfe has been supporting young German talents as well as elite athletes since 1967. Looking back over almost 60 years: what has changed, what responsibilities are new?

Thomas Berlemann: Initially, Sporthilfe didn’t provide much financial help – also based on the amateur status of Olympic and Paralympic athletes – but allowances for materials and food were granted. That has changed significantly. Today, we’re an important supporter, the most important for many athletes. We support athletes for seven to eight years on average, until they climb the podium at the Olympic Games for example. A year to 18 months before, we cover their backs in particular to allow them to prepare and qualify. The most important new topic in the last few years has been promoting the athletes’ skills throughout their careers.

And even beyond that, with the subsequent support of athletes after the end of their careers. What is behind this thought of helping athletes after the end of an active sporting career?

Thomas Berlemann: It’s all about solidarity. Supporting athletes after the end of their careers has two elements: a financial one and an advisory/personal one. Sporthilfe provides a comprehensive range of skills promotion. We offer guidance as well as very specific qualification and further education measures for a professional career after sports. This includes, for example, application training, a mentor program and support for business start-ups. And then there’s the Sporthilfe Alumni Club. In this network, older athletes share information younger athletes can benefit from. Older athletes can talk about their experiences with great credibility, and they can provide specific help and contacts if an athlete is looking for a career.

This is an impressive offer – who makes this possible?

Thomas Berlemann: We have six large companies as national supporters. The German Federal Ministry of the Interior is a new important donor. We have around 300 VIPs on our Board of Trustees, but many individual donors also make indispensable contributions to help athletes. Bauerfeind as a service partner is one. Last year, Bauerfeind equipped about 700 athletes with its products. So many athletes benefited from this, especially following injuries. Health, prevention and recovery after injuries are extremely important issues for athletes at elite level. And Bauerfeind has just the right products.

For more information about Stiftung Deutsche Sporthilfe, please visit:

Image: picture alliance für Deutsche Sporthilfe