Women’s basketball head coach Anna Stammberger is taking her student-athletes on an experience of a lifetime.
“I have a goal of taking the team on a special out of region experience every five years,” says Stammberger. “Because of my experiences in Germany (she played professionally in Germany between 1985-2003), and my connections to many coaches and clubs in the German Bundesliga region, I’ve always wanted to take the Tigers there to broaden their competitive, cultural, educational and geographical horizons.”
There are a lot of things that go into a trip like this, fundraising being one of the biggest. The team has been saving the past three years focusing its fundraising efforts on this trip. They’ve also gotten some support from some of the German clubs they will be facing and the players are also paying for part of the trip as well. Compiling extra medical insurance, making travel arrangements and setting up tours for a large group also takes a lot of time.
“We have a large number of returning student-athletes who have been outstanding ambassadors of our school, the AUS and the sport of women’s basketball,” says Stammberger. “They’ve been very active in our community and contributed generously to many community service projects, so they’ve put in a lot of work to be rewarded with this trip.”
The projects Stammberger refers to include Trick or Eat for Feed Nova Scotia, Flying Wheels Nova Scotia Wheelchair Basketball, Capital Health volunteer work, Run for the Cure, Runway Lung Run, Terry Fox Run, Dal Women in Leadership Dinner, C.L.O.U.D., Caledonia Junior High Outreach project for high risk students and volunteer coaching minor basketball. They’ve been working hard academically as well with seven of the thirteen team members earning Academic All-Canadians status last year.
Highlights of an adventure
To ensure sufficient time for travel, games, cultural events and historical sights, the Tigers received special permission from the AUS to bring the team together on August 28 for five practices before starting their trip Saturday, August 30. This would allow the student-athletes to participate in what Stammberger refers to as a “once in a lifetime opportunity” while only missing the first two days of their classes in the fall semester.
While there, the Tigers will play four games against various German Club teams; including Stammberger’s former club team in Wolfenbuettel (1985-1994) and Tigers alumna Kathy Spurr’s former club team in Berlin (1989) in northern Germany. When they’re not on the court, the Tigers have a jam-packed itinerary including:
- A visit to the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbuettel which is one of the oldest intact libraries in the world with the first mention of it as a library in 1572.
- A visit to the Humbolt University in Berlin, founded in 1810 where such gifted students as Albert Einstein, Max Planck, Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Robert Shuman, Otto von Bismark as well as 29 Nobel Prize winners studied. Its central principal is the union of teaching and research in the work of the individual scholar or scientist.
- Tiergarten in Berlin which refers to the parliamentary, government and diplomatic district as well as Berlin’s largest and most popular inner-city park.
- The Berlin Wall, which was both the physical division between West Berlin and East Germany from 1961 to 1989 and the symbolic boundary between democracy and communism during the Cold War.
- The protestant Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, which is located in Berlin on the Kurfurstendammin, the centre of the Breitscheidplatz. The original church on the site was built in the 1890s. It was badly damaged in a bombing raid in 1943. The damaged spire of the old church has been retained and its ground floor has been made into a memorial hall.
- Sachsenhausen Memorial Concentration Camp in Oranienburg, Germany.
The Tigers will spend a full week in Germany, returning Saturday, September 6 when they’ll enjoy a week off to recover and focus on school before training starts up on September 15.
Ainsley MacIntyre (third year, Science) and Diedre Alexander (first year, Arts) will document the Tigers experience during their trip. Stay tuned to hear about their adventure!
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