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  • CapoeiraSports CapoeiraRoger Richter, Wiesbaden
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Sports clubs
There are several reasons why German sportspeople are often so successful in international competitions. One of them is the large number of sports clubs offering a wide range of activities at affordable prices.

Joining a German sports club is an excellent way to meet people from all walks of life in a relaxed environment. One of the nicest things about membership of a sports club must surely be a trip down to the pub with other members, after a good training session.

There is a wide range of sports to choose from – football, tennis, riding, athletics, aerobics, swimming and, increasingly, international sports such as baseball, rugby and even American football are all on offer. For a complete list of sports clubs in your region, contact your municipal sports department or local government district.

In addition, Hessen’s state sports federation can provide information on sports clubs across the state. The easiest way to find a club is to visit www.sport-in-hessen.de, where the procedures for joining are fully explained.
Membership fees vary considerably, depending on the sport involved, the size of the club and the quality of the facilities.  As a general guideline, annual membership tends to cost €100-250, and there are often discounts for students and children. Family membership may also be discounted, often by a considerable amount compared with several individual memberships.

You should be aware that you are automatically insured against injury according to the club’s terms, as soon as you become a registered member of a German sports club.

Many clubs will allow you to attend a few training sessions before taking out full membership, to see whether you enjoy them.

Gyms

Despite the many clubs offering a wide range of sports, gyms are becoming increasingly popular, and in Hessen too you will find a wide choice. The main advantages of gyms lie in their flexible opening hours and modern facilities (sometimes including a swimming pool and sauna). Most memberships last for six or twelve months, but you can usually try out the gym for a week before signing a contract. In addition, an increasing number of gyms are providing female-only sections, and sometimes there is free child care as well. Monthly fees range from €15 for a simple gym to up to €100 for luxury establishments. Some Frankfurt gyms also offer day passes.
The best way to find a gym in your area is to visit the www.find-fitness.de/Hessen. Look for a gym to suit your schedule and budget.

Cycling in Hessen

In recent years Hessen has acquired a comprehensive network of cycle paths, totalling 3300km in length. It encompasses idyllic river valleys around the ancient ridges of the Rhön, Odenwald, Vogelsberg and Taunus hills, and the Hessian sections of cycle paths following the Eder, Lahn, Rhine, Main and Werra valleys. There are also numerous regional routes running from north to south or west to east. Detailed maps are available from kiosks or the Hessen Tourism agency. You can also consult the excellent website www.radroutenplaner.hessen.de. If you are planning a longer trip, Deutsche Bahn offers weekend tickets for cycling groups.

Golf

Germany’s first golf course was built at Bad Homburg in 1893, by Englishman R. W. Duff. Hessen maintains a golfing tradition to this day. With idyllic river valleys, lakes and green spaces, Hessen offers perfect golfing conditions.

The state currently has over 50 golf courses and more than 39,000 golfers. Golf has become so popular that some clubs now have a waiting list. Others however, particularly in rural areas, are often on the lookout for new members. Golfing equipment can be hired almost anywhere. For more information, contact the Hessian Golf Association at www.hessischergolfverband.de or visit the German golfing gateway at www.golf.de.

Inline Skating

Skating is very popular in Germany. So it is not unusual to find good-quality inline skates for sale even in supermarkets. Every Tuesday evening from April to October, thousands of skaters gather in various places across Hessen (Frankfurt and Giessen for instance) to go skating together. Anything up to 2000 people take part on average. These excursions are usually 35-42km in length and finish where they started, at about 11.00pm. Please be aware that such excursions are not suitable for beginners. Tuesday Night Skating (TNS) also organises inline skating holidays across Europe. For further information, visit the TNS website www.t-n-s.de.

Ice skating

Located in Frankfurt’s Ostend district, the Frankfurt indoor ice rink caters for anything an ice skater could wish for. Two rinks of artificial ice, with a combined area of 9000sqm, are available.  During the peak season entry is €6 for adults. If you have no skates of your own, a pair can be borrowed for €4.

For those who prefer rather smaller venues, the Colonel-Knight Stadium in Bad Nauheim offers a pleasant skating experience under a domed roof. The ice stadium is used by inline skaters during the summer season.

Eissporthalle am Ratsweg
Am Bornheimer Hang 4
60314 Frankfurt/Main
Telefon: 069 21239308

Eisstadion Bad Nauheim
Nördlicher Park 25
61231 Bad Nauheim
Telefon: 06032 343356

Eissporthalle Kassel
Am Auestadion 1
34121 Kassel
Telefon: 0561 928940

Eispalast
Neuer Botanischer Garten
35032 Marburg
Telefon: 06421 690910

Running

Frankfurt’s annual JPMorgan Corporate Challenge is one of several large running events in Hessen. In 2012, the 5km course attracted more than 68,000 competitors from nearly 3000 companies, making it the biggest road race in the world. Competitors come from all over Germany to run through Frankfurt’s city centre. The event has come a long way from its modest beginnings in 1993, with a mere 700 runners. Today, it is one of the most important sporting events in Germany.  www.jpmccc.de

For keen runners there is the Frankfurt Marathon, which has taken place every autumn since 1981. It is Germany’s oldest city marathon, and the second largest nationwide in terms of finishers (approx. 15,500 in 2012). www.frankfurt-marathon.com

Hessen is also known for its fun running events such as the Nordhessencup, a series composed of 19 different fun runs in northern Hessen.

If you are interested in attending regular running sessions, visit www.hlv.de

Walking and rambling

Hessen’s landscape offers wonderful walking trails. The Hessen Tourism agency can suggest dozens of trails, in the Taunus for instance, around Fulda, or along the Bergstrasse route. Both the romantic and the adventurous walker will find enjoyment in Hessen. The trails are usually between 8 and 20km in length, and some are up to 800 metres above sea level. For a complete description of the suggested excursions, visit www.hessen-tourismus.de

Swimming

Almost every town in Germany has its own swimming pool, be it open-air or inside. These facilities range from family pools to luxurious water parks.

To find a pool that suits your needs in Hessen, visit www.rutscherlebnis.de/schwimmbad-verzeichnis/deutschland/hessen.  If you prefer to swim in a natural environment, Hessen has a large number of bathing lakes. Among the largest are the Diemelsee in the Waldeck-Frankenberg district, the Twistesee in north-western Hessen, the Edersee and the Langener Waldsee south of Frankfurt. 

Frankfurt Ironman

Every summer, the world’s largest IRONMAN competition brings world-class athletes to Frankfurt. Over 2300 competitors from more than 55 countries, along with about 350,000 spectators, turn the IRONMAN into an international festival. Following a 3.8km swim in the Langener Waldsee and a 180km cycling leg, the athletes arrive at the Main quay in Frankfurt city centre to begin what is perhaps the toughest part of the IRONMAN – the marathon along the banks of the Main. What they get for their pain is a fantastic atmosphere along the entire course and a breathtaking view of the Frankfurt skyline. But when the – almost – confirmed IRONMAN finally turns onto the finishing strait on the Römerberg, the day’s agony is quickly forgotten at one of Europe’s biggest finish line parties.

Health spas, saunas and thermal baths

In the grey days of winter or following a hard day’s work, there is nothing more relaxing than a day at a spa or sauna. The local tradition of thermal bathing dates back to the Roman Empire, and the idea of a healthy mind inhabiting a healthy body is still followed in Hessen. The Hessian Association of Health Spas can provide more information on the 32 spas in the region at www.hessischer-heilbaederverband.de.

Alongside the traditional kind of spa, there are increasing numbers of health and fitness centres offering family activities. Spas and thermal baths are being modernised and turned into centres offering various attractions under a single roof: Open-air and enclosed pools, whirlpools, water parks, saunas, spas and thermal baths etc.

 

AquaMar
Sommerbadstraße 41
35037 Marburg
Tel.: 06421 - 309784-0
www.marburg.de/aquamar

 

Sieben Welten Therme & Spa
Harbacher Weg 66
36093 Künzell
Tel.: 0661 397 800
www.siebenwelten.de

 

Aqua Fit Freizeit und Familienbad
Kolpingstr. 6
36251 Bad Hersfeld
Tel.: 06621 / 7 64 96

 

Laguna Asslar
Europastraße, 35614 Aßlar
Tel.: 06441 - /807100
www.laguna-asslar.de

 

Taunus Therme
Seedammweg 10
61352 Bad Homburg
www.taunus-therme.de

Professional sport

Eintracht Frankfurt

Frankfurt’s popular football team, Eintracht, have had their ups and downs in the league. In the past ten years they have been relegated to the second division three times. But they gained promotion back up to the Bundesliga’s first tier in 2011.

In this football-mad state, you should not miss the opportunity to experience an Eintracht game.  The team plays at the Commerzbank-Arena, a stadium that hosted games during the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Tel: 069 -  955 030 www.eintracht.de

Fraport Skyliners

The Fraport Skyliners are the most recent addition to Frankfurt’s professional sporting scene, playing first-division basketball. Home games are played at the Ballsporthalle in Höchst, with a capacity of 4000. Tickets can be booked via the hotline, +49 (0)69 928 876 19, between 10.00am and 5.00pm on business days.

LTi Gießen 46ers

Since the foundation of the German federal basketball league in 1966, Giessen’s popular team have been playing in the top tier. The 46ers are one of the most successful teams in Germany, having won the title five times.

Even though these successes are now a thing of the past, Giessen remains an important place on the German basketball map. The Giessen 46ers are based at the Giessen-Ost sports hall, which holds 4000 and has a great atmosphere. The team is composed of players from Germany and abroad, and plays an exciting, high-tempo game.

For ticket reservations and other information, visit www.ltigiessen46ers.de

BC Pharmaserv Marburg - Blue Dolphins

The BC (Basketball Club) Marburg is one of the biggest basketball clubs in Hessen and has sent an excellent women’s team to the first division since 1992. The team won the German title in 2003 and has a large following in Marburg.

HSG Wetzlar

Wetzlar is very proud of its first-division handball team HSG Wetzlar,  which has been playing in the world’s strongest handball league since 1998. HSG play at the imposing Rittal Arena, which seats 5000 and hosted Handball World Championship matches in 2007. The German handball league is considered one of the most attractive in the world and draws in players from the whole of Europe. HSG have not yet won the national title, but came very close in 1997 and 2001.

EC Kassel Huskies

Hessen’s ice hockey club from Kassel achieved its greatest successes in 1997, as runner-up in the league, and in 2004, as runner-up in the cup competition. The amateur team of the club Eishockey Jugend Kassel e.V. won the Hessen league in 2011 and was promoted to the third tier of German ice hockey for the 2012 season. www.eckasselhuskies.de

TV Hüttenberg -Handball

TV Hüttenberg’s handball team has been the outstanding team in mid-Hessen since 1969. Promotion to the second tier of German handball in the 2003/04 season has been one of the most recent successes. The team consistently finishes among the top ten in this division. In 2011, the players achieved further success with promotion to the top tier, the TOYOTA Handballbundesliga. The season began in September, marking the first time the club had played in the top tier in 26 years.

RSV Lahn-Dill

Wetzlar’s most successful sports team is RSV’s wheelchair basketball team. The team has won every title going, including seven German titles, four European titles and the 2010 World Cup title in Japan. Several team members have also played in the Paralympics. RSV were founded in 1983 and have established themselves as one of the leading clubs for disabled sports. Apart from basketball, the club also offers other sports such as swimming and tennis.
www.rsvlahndill.de

1. FFC Frankfurt

The women of the 1. FFC Frankfurt have won seven titles, seven DFB cups and three European Cups since the club’s foundation in August 1998. A trophy cabinet on this scale remains without parallel in German women’s club football and has made European history as well. The Stadion am Brentanobad in Frankfurt-Rödelheim hosts the
club’s home games. The club holds both league games and all its training sessions at the stadium.