News>Season’s Greetings from WGI
December 22, 2021

Season’s Greetings from WGI

Dear members, dear sponsors and friends of the WGI,

Again, for 2021, I would like to continue the good WGI tradition in the Advent season and, after our general meeting on November 24th, 2021, would like to give you a brief review of the year and a first outlook on the new year, combined with many good holiday wishes.

As a result of the ongoing corona pandemic, 2021 continued to pose major challenges for the activities and work processes of WGI, which are expected to continue in the first few months of the new year. Events could not be held or, in some cases, had to be postponed several times, planned national and international meetings did not take place or were at best carried out digitally. The personal contact and exchange, which is particularly important in the context of transfer projects, has been missing for a long time!

We also had to hold our additional general assembly on January 27, 2021 digitally. Nonetheless, a complete executive board was fortunately elected again at this general assembly, which then immediately started work in all departments, as the following brief overview of some projects reflects.

The “EuPEO – European Physical Education Observatory” project was successfully completed with the final multiplier events and the publication of the pilot study despite the adverse effects of the corona pandemic! The project partners are currently considering an extension of the collaboration in a new EuPEO 2.0 project to be applied for – again with the participation of WGI.

The project “thought leap” (Nils Neuber), which Caritas carried out with the participation of WGI and the Institute for Sports Science at the University of Münster, has now been successfully completed in the third year of the project ( The continuing qualification for students and employees of open all-day school settings took place this year again under difficult conditions due to the corona pandemic. Nevertheless, all eight Caritas OGS facilities could be individually supported with hygiene protection-compliant content in using movement-based cognitive promotion in the care of primary school children.

Volume 16 of the WGI book series was published in April 2021. The anthology “Olympic Education – history, theory, practice”, edited by Deanna Binder, Roland Naul and Ludmila Fialova, comprises ten articles that were presented at the 4th Willibald Gebhardt Olympic Symposium.

In May the WGI (Michael Krüger and Roland Naul) was able to organize a successful 5th Willibald Gebhardt Symposium on April 30th, 2021 in remembrance of the 100th anniversary of Willibald Gebhardt’s death  – unfortunately only online. The contributions to this event, which was met with a broad international response, will then be published in Volume 17 of the WGI book series.

The expertise of the WGI, in particular Michael Krüger (Vice President Olympic Sport) and Sebastian Brückner (sport psychologist), was also in demand in the context of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo: Numerous articles in the press, radio and magazines testify to this.

The children’s and youth sports department received inquiries specifically with regard to the effects of the corona pandemic on the exercise and sports behavior of children and young people. Particularly noteworthy is Nils Neuber’s invitation to deliver an expert statement at a hearing on the “Fourth German Children and Youth Sports Report” in the sports committee of the German Bundestag in May 2021.

Support for performance diagnostics of the German Athletics Association and the German Handball Federation, in particular the very differentiated visualization of throwing movements, was the focus of the elite and performance sport department in 2021, for which Eric Eils is now responsible as the new Vice President.

Finally – despite all the adversities due to Corona – the gkgk cooperation project with Poland (Dennis Dreiskämper) could now be successfully completed in 2021. Further activities of the gkgk project 2.0 (Roland Naul) also took place in the Netherlands in 2021. In addition, the WGI was involved with Dutch partners in the feasibility study for the implementation of a “Euregiade” (Roland Naul and Sebastian Brückner) in the border region.

In view of the many successfully completed projects, it is also worth noting that numerous WGI projects are continuing with a large network of national and international partners – and that a considerable number of new project applications with WGI participation were submitted in 2021. However, these are still being assessed, hopefully with one or the other award for the WGI!

Successful acquisition of new projects would also be particularly encouraging in 2022, because the WGI can celebrate its 30th birthday this year. We hope to be able to celebrate this anniversary year with a few events – if possible, finally once again with in-person interactions! With this optimism we should start into a hopefully successful year for the WGI together!

On behalf of the entire executive board and the executive office, I wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a good, successful and, above all, healthy year 2022!

With best Christmas greetings

Dr. Heinz Aschebrock