Welcome to Oberhasuen
1st World Championships for Juniors in 2018 in Underwater Rugby
On November 14th, 2018 the much anticipated CMAS Underwaterrugby World Cup for Juniors 2018 finally had arrived in Oberhausen. All participating teams got safely to the hosting city s. The two teams from Sweden were the first to test the waters at 9 am local time. After the athletes and coaches received their badges and “Welcome to Oberhausen”-bags they took to the pools and trained hard for the upcoming games. The host team of Germany followed at 10:30 am and things started to get busy at the Hallenbad Oberhausen. The ZDF, one of the two public TV stations in Germany, arrived shortly after the Germans to film their practice and to collect some interviews. The Germans were followed by the two Turkish teams. Their delegation is headed by the President of the Turkish Underwater Sports Federation (TSSF) Prof. Şahin Özen and is accompanied by Prof. Levent Cavas, the Director of the Underwaterrugby Board of Comission at the World Underwater Federation (CMAS). “Hellos” and “good to see you again” could be heard throughout the pool when the various teams meet going in and out of the pool, proofing once again that underwaterrugby athletes consider themselves part of a big family of sportsmen.
Athletes kept pouring into the pool, with the teams from Norway and Colombia arriving to pick up their accreditations. While the organization team of the hosting German Club TauchSportAbteilung im Turnclub Sterkrade 1869 Oberhausen e.V (TSA im TC 69 Sterkrade) was busy applying the finishing touch to the sporting facilities, the officials, team captains and referees adjourned themselves to the technical meeting. Meanwhile the organization team took to prepare the nearby Willy-Jürissen-Gymnasium, which was to be the venue of the opening ceremony.
6 o´clock sharp saw the beginning of that opening ceremony. Audience and athletes were greeted by the Marina Shanty Choir Oberhausen, which preformed the traditional “Steigerlied”, a song dedicated to the coal mining history of the Ruhrarea in which the city of Oberhausen is located as well as a real life Steiger, a foreman of coal miners, himself. The opening ceremony, being hosted by Olaf Kippen of TSA im TC 69 Sterkrade, continued with the welcoming of the athletes from the eight participating nations: Denmark, Finland, Colombia, Norway, Sweden, Czech Republic, Turkey and Germany. Lead by a young underwater rugby athlete, hoping to play in a future CMAS Underwaterrugby World Cup for Juniors, the teams were guided into the Gymnasium while listening to their individual national anthems. After the CMAS as well as the German national flag were hoisted in a touching ceremony, it was time for the dignitaries to address athletes and audience. The first to take the floor was Dr. Uwe Hoffmann, the Vice-President of the German Underwater Federation (VDST), who stressed that the young athletes were about to make underwater history with their participation in the first ever Underwaterrugby World Cup for Juniors. He was followed by Daniel Schranz, Lord Mayor of Oberhausen, who welcomed everybody to his hometown in the name of all the citizens of Oberhausen. He spoke proudly of the fact, that the city of Oberhausen and the TSA im TC 69 Sterkrade were chosen to host the first Underwaterrugby World Cup for Juniors. Finally, Prof. Levent Cavas, the Director of the Underwaterrugby Board of Comission at CMAS, declared open the Underwaterrugby World Cup for Juniors, but not before he took in the promise of every participating athlete that they not only will engage in sportsmen like conduct, but also that they would enjoy the games and the company of each other. Needless to say, that that promise was given with a thunderous “yes”.
While the audience and the officials were invited to finish the opening ceremony at a informal dinner, the athletes were called to their respective hotels. On Thursday, November 15th, the games will finally begin, when at 9 am local time the hosting team of Germany will take on the Czech Republic.
Foto: P.Sutter / VDST