The hall's spartan furnishings are immediately noticeable: hard concrete floor, meager wooden lockers, plain shower and changing rooms, no heating. The fitness and sports equipment, the judo mats lying on the floor, show that they are being used intensively.
Street worker albert kopplin has been in charge of the social association kidro's open sports program here since 2003. "This used to be a social hotspot," says matthies, says kopplin. The hall is located behind the youth and cultural center in the former u.S. Barracks. In the 1990s, young immigrants with a high potential for problems met there: many spoke hardly any german, had no school-leaving qualifications, no training, no work, but had problems with drugs, violence and crime. "I tried to get the boys off the streets", says kopplin, who is himself an emigrant.
The hall is open every day until late in the evening, everyone can use the open sport offer of the kidro and play volley- or fubball, go to the gym or take part in the sambo training (russian judo and self-defense variant) of kopplin. The street worker reaches the young people through sports, gains their trust and has an effect on them. "This is real life sport, he says. " I'm glad when the guys from the focal point are here, then i don't have to look for them."
From the fire to the meeting point
Thomas heinrich, chairman of kidro low-threshold support, emphasizes that a strong cohesion has formed in the group. This means that problems can be addressed and solved directly. "This is integration work through sport, says heinrich. The former chairwoman of the association eva matthies helped set up the integration project and praises the street worker's efforts: "the young people have gathered around kopplin as an integration figure." Between 30 and 60 people use the hall every day, in the beginning mainly emigrants.
That has changed, not least because of the successes that kopplin regularly achieves with his sambo proteges at international tournaments entry. "Today, 40 percent of the people training in the hall are locals, says matthies. It is about young people who do not feel comfortable in sports clubs and prefer to come here.
Friedrich has been
Federal minister of the interior hans-peter friedrich (CSU) found out about the open sports program during an election campaign visit to bad kissingen. The ministry of the interior is responsible for sports, migration and integration policy. Friedrich called the project "fantastic and praised the commitment of the kidro staff and of kopplin and matthies in particular: "it always takes someone to take the initiative", said friedrich.