Sports History of the Ruhr Area - The Way to the Sports Metropole Ruhr in North Rhine-Westphalia

Head of project:
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Mittag

IESF staff entrusted with project:
Niklas Hack M.A.

Research period:
April 2019-March 2022

Foundation History of the Ruhr Area

The debate about the bid of the "Rhein Ruhr City 2032" for the Olympic Games of the year 2032 is currently leading to intensified debates about the importance of sport in the region of North Rhine-Westphalia. In this context, the focus is not only on the public's agreement to hosting a sports mega-event such as the Olympic Games, but also on the question of the roots and development lines of sport on the Rhine and Ruhr.

The Ruhr area in particular is considered one of the most important football centres in the world. However, the strong presence of football obscures the view of the sports landscape of the Ruhr area and contributes to the fact that the diverse sports history of the region has almost fallen into oblivion.  Whether six-day races or boxing competitions, whether Ruhrolympiade or World Games, whether Olympic champions or world champions: numerous competitions, events and people from the sporting history of the Ruhr region have fallen into oblivion. This also applies to numerous clubs and sports facilities.

The IESF is currently pursuing - in cooperation with the History of the Ruhr Area Foundation - a project to research and analyse the fundamentals of regional sports structures with the aim of working through fundamental stages in the sports development of the Ruhr Area and the North Rhine-Westphalia region. In the sense of a double objective, both the scientific processing and the public visibility are to be taken into account.

Planned are:  

2020: Scientific conference with experts on contemporary history and sports history of the Ruhr Area  
2020/21: Public series of events on the sporting history of the region with individual events in Bochum and Cologne

2022: Public website with historical basics, timelines and illustrative examples from the sports history of the region.