* In the previous issue, the Ewha Voice gave a general analysis of Korean university students’ leisure lives, and compared their perspectives on leisure with those of German university students. Experts’ suggestions on knowing the importance of why and how we should enjoy a good leisure life were also discussed. In this issue, the Ewha Voice is reporting on the youth leisure culture in Germany. The Ewha Media Center visited three different leisure facilities for undergraduates, juveniles, and the young in Germany. Scoping out how their supportive environments are linked to leisure, this second report will highlight the ultimate meaning of leisure in life.
Hochschulsport Hamburg has about 17,000 students and faculty members who can enjoy various sports and activities on campus, including dance, beach volleyball, salsa cubana, meditation, swimming, taekwondo, tennis, juggling, capoeira, lacrosse, parcour, ultimate frisbee and zumba.
About 300 trainers coach more than 80 types of sports in approximately 200 diversified courses.
Hochschulsport Hamburg, which translates to University Athletics Hamburg in English, is a sports center built for all students, faculty members, and employees of universities in the Hamburg area. The center was constructed to improve the health of students and employees under Germany’s legal obligation to provide a space where students and staffs can exercise at each university. The operating budget, under the policy, consists of the German government’s provision of real estate and buildings, 10 percent from dues from the 19 universities in Hamburg and 5 percent from company sponsorships. As a result, users can enjoy sports at a reasonable price. Students can purchase a six month sports membership card for 50 euros, which allows them to participate in customized and classified sports courses. Operated with governmental support, which is relatively lacking in Korea, Germany’s university students have a wide selection of sports available on campus.
Philipp Hatje, the vice president of Hochschulsport Hamburg, says that among numerous leisure activities, working out allows the participants to effectively relieve stress and manage balance between study and health in daily life.
“Exercising while in college helps in forming a sound body and mind, which lasts for the rest of life,” Hatje said. “Therefore, our center not only provides sports programs but chances for students to find their new sides, different interests or talents.”
The center also plans various sports events, workshops, and programs for students, such as sports championships, a sports travel to the Alps for a ski camp, and dance parties, and encourages university students to form their own leisure culture.
“Students come from different communities, regions, and even nations whenever we organize and promote events. This implicates that sports could also be a chance for social activities as a new type of students’ unique leisure culture,” Hatje said.