Sports club and gyms in berlin: club complains about lack of information

The Pfeffersport club feels left alone: It is completely unclear when the gymnasiums used as emergency accommodation will be available for sports again.

After the last refugees have moved, many sports clubs are at a loss Photo: dpa

The non-profit sports club Pfeffersport in Prenzlauer Berg was initially optimistic. It was hoped that the halls would be available again by the end of the year, according to minutes of a meeting in June 2016. But to this day, many Pfeffersport athletes are still waiting for the kickoff.

Perhaps they were too optimistic. The three halls used by the club, which had been requisitioned for refugees, were not vacated until the end of 2016. Then there was more to renovate than expected: new floors, painting, sanitary facilities.

The school also knows nothing

The hall in Malmoer Strabe will probably remain unusable until the end of the year, fears Jorg Zwirn, managing director of Pfeffersport. The sports hall in Winsstrabe, which is also used by an elementary school, should actually be open again after the Easter vacations. But the school does not yet know whether that will happen.

For Zwirn, too, the biggest problem is: "Nobody informs us. This is undemocratic and non-transparent, what is happening here." His criticism is directed primarily at the Senate Department for the Interior and Sport, which the association has now sent a letter demanding appropriate compensation. There is a fund for this, but its guidelines are so strict that hardly any club has been compensated so far.

The association had to cope with losses of around 60,000 euros and 450 resignations in 2016. "Many of our offerings have a focus on inclusion and integration – we can’t move those across town," Zwirn says. He fears that if the renovation work is further delayed and adequate compensation is not provided, Pfeffersport’s existence could be threatened.

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