Are there portions in table tennis

history

A report on the ups and downs
of the department in 50 years of club history:

1960 to 2010 - a table tennis department in motion

The table tennis department at TSV Sasel has existed for over 50 years. It is still one of the relatively “young” departments. But department life was by no means just babbling gently at this time. The following report gives a brief overview of the development of the department and its ups and downs:

The 60s and 70s: The early days

According to a report from the Chronicle of 1975, the department was founded in 1960 by Ewald Staat. With one or two men's teams, sometimes also a women's team, two training evenings and six tables, the Sasel athletes took part in the league game. The chronicler at the time, Peter Lambrecht, who is also still active today, emphasized that table tennis is a sport by and for individualists who find a home in the table tennis department and reported about lonely fights with opponents.

It is of course not that lonely. Even if the game at the table is always a “man against man” (or “woman against woman”) competition, the sporting comparison is usually sought in teams. And that actually results in an interesting mix between individual sport and team sport. One thing can be said, however - table tennis develops characters. Characters who stand out due to all kinds of traits, such as perseverance, willpower, tactical thinking or quick reactions. Who does not remember the defense artist Jürgen Dymowski, who with extreme agility almost scratched every ball off the ground, or Bruno Bahrs, who, with his anti-topspin rubber and previous experience from the association league, made young crackers white-hot at an old age? Günter Hampel also gave many opponents no chance with his dangerous combination of defense and left-handed attack.

The 80s: development of the youth department

In the course of time, some young people came to adult training, some of them children of active adults and a few young people from the neighborhood. And two young school leavers also came fresh to the club. This was clearly too much fresh blood for the then somewhat sleepy department! The offer of the board of directors for a new training period in the former Schule am Park (a converted cowshed - today the Sasel-Haus) regularly on Fridays awakened the department abruptly and sustainably in 1977 from its almost twenty years of slumber. The two young adults, who at the time could hardly hold the racket themselves, took on the new task and started the youth department with the support of the local sports retailer and table tennis player Asta Rüsch. Unfortunately, one of the young men quickly threw in the towel. And so the other, Peter Dietterle, took the job of youth warden into his own hands - a job that he still devotes himself to today.

The success of the youth department soon became unstoppable. First in terms of numbers, but then also in terms of performance, the table tennis department of TSV Sasel in Hamburg attracted attention. The department was quickly represented with its first teams in the youth performance classes. Sometimes up to three girls 'teams and seven boys' teams were reported to be playing at the same time.

More training times were added, but there was a lack of coaches. Up to four times a week, the then youth warden had to regularly lead the training for a number of years and help with the point game and tournament supervision until the first “own” trainers from the youth were trained.

Overrun by your own strength

The increase in performance soon suffered a dampening of several years. As nice as it is when the players of your own club have been introduced to the top of Hamburg's performance - what comes after that?

Unfortunately at that time the playing strength of the adult teams was relatively weak compared to the youngsters. The young people rightly asked where their sporting prospects would be if they were 16 or 17 years old and could already play in the first men's team. Patience is just not the thing for young people - and some players succumbed to the lure of a higher division in a neighboring club in their first year of adulthood. Others, on the other hand, first tried to pull up the first gentlemen from Sasel, but not every year an advancement could be made possible. It hurt a lot at times to let high-performing players pull away. And so, with the original Saselern Matthias Busch, Gunnar Dannemann, Jens Goldbeck, Tom Krause, Oliver Krippahl, Stephan Michaelis, Boris Modrau and René Müller, more than a whole team of regional league strengths played at nearby clubs while we were still in the District League cancer. But you couldn't really blame these players, because in the end everyone said that they really enjoyed Sasel during their youth. It would have been only too nice if the players had been able to play their skills in adulthood in the home club. So it was little consolation that in the whole history of the department not a single Sasel youth player was happy in another table tennis youth department for more than a year.

The 1990s: development of the adult department

After almost an entire generation of players left, we wanted to learn from the mistakes. But how could a growing generation of 17 to 20-year-olds be integrated into an adult department, which at that time only consisted of players between the ages of 35 and 60?

The goal of advancing the men's teams became more and more important. The youngsters should be integrated into the men's teams at an early stage, because they have proven that they can improve their performance faster than our teams could advance. On the other hand, the traditional adult players naturally wanted to stay together in team relationships that sometimes lasted for decades. The training times had to be adapted to the increased number of members. As many teams as possible should be promoted, new teams should be formed and more coaches were needed. And of course, all players should continue to feel comfortable with us, regardless of their level of performance. A real mix of goals that could hardly be achieved!

So it was sometimes very high in the section assemblies. Players were torn between teams. Senior players had to do without the leagues they had reached and give way to the youngsters who came up. It was not uncommon for teams to be mixed up and emotions stoked. It was a pleasant balance that Peter Lambrecht every now and then smoothed things over with a summer tournament and promoted communication across the teams.

The department had its low point in 1989, when the 1st team could not avoid relegation to the 2nd district league after a player had left. But even if the department was doing so badly - the most important thing was always to offer the committed young people qualified training, to invite them to work in the club community and to strengthen their shared responsibility. This was especially true for the trainer team. The core team of trainers has included Peter Dietterle, Axel Schliemann and Tom Krause for around two decades. In addition, older youth players were repeatedly trained to be coaches.

But in the 90s, the tough work was finally rewarded: Timid, almost unsure, the men's teams felt their way forward and tried to get up. Sometimes it was mostly young people who were used in the first men. It was not uncommon for a men's team to have so many young players that the team had problems traveling to the away game because only one player had a driver's license. But victories motivate. And because good training was offered, more and more players trusted in the chances of promotion - and a great community that resulted in long-lasting, genuine friendships.

Unfortunately, we could not escape the unfavorable trend in the sport in the female area. The players from the youth department could not be integrated into the small women's department of the club. Ultimately, the only women's team had to be withdrawn.

The returnees brought the thrust

Word of the timid success of the Sasel men's teams also got around among the alumni. The initial spark finally came from Tom Krause, who after a guest appearance in two neighboring clubs and a good portion of regional league experience ultimately chose to step back to Sasel to lay the foundation for the higher classes. As a youth coach, Tom Krause had always remained loyal to the club, now he was also the player-coach of the 1st men's team, which at that time had only just made it into the 1st district league. And with that he gave a signal to many younger players that things should now be looking up with power. And so it happened.

A whole generation of players was able to experience that as a table tennis player you only peak in your late twenties. And even after that, it is very possible to increase performance with targeted training. So it was not surprising that our juniors and young adults were able to improve each year by a whole league with dedicated training and thus generated the fuel for further advancement themselves. The first team was promoted for a total of five years in a row! The other teams followed naturally. And new teams were formed. This development was supported by the return of more original Saselers. In the period that followed, Boris Modrau, Gunnar Dannemann, Stepfan Michaelis and Oliver Krippahl played for us again for a while and, as adults, gave the department back what they had learned as young people.

1999: Hamburg League initiative

Who has nothing wants to have something - and who has what wants more! Based on this motto, at some point the idea came up that Sasel could move up to the association league, the highest league in Hamburg. With "bought-in" players this would certainly have been achieved quickly, but this was never Sasel style. Our offer to the players has always been a good training environment, an excellent club organization and a friendly training group. This is worth more than purchased performance. And if one or the other player from the neighborhood joined our club without any cash, then of course we were all the more pleased.

Fate has been kind to us in recent years. After the 3rd team had been promoted in 1997 and the 2nd team in the following year, with the support of another returnees (Sebastian Baum), there was a sudden fantasy of promotion to the national league team of our 1st men. And indeed - after an incredibly exciting season, the rise of the first men was achieved in 1999. Sasel was in the Hamburg League!

True to our motto, the team remained largely unchanged in Hamburg's top division. However, this was an almost impossible task. The table tennis elite of Hamburg suddenly got to know Saseler gyms and let us feel the rough wind of the Hamburg League. Close promotion, no reinforcement - how should you stay up in the league? But when the team has a common goal, ways can be found. The points came with a high level of training ambition and a clear goal in mind. And so even 9-0 defeats against neighboring clubs only released new energies in our players. Even before the end of the season, relegation is certain and the finish line leads to a secure middle place.

The 21st century

What happened next in the 21st century? Well, of course, everything became more modern as we know it now. There was still no Facebook, but computers, computer games and the Internet also changed the leisure activities of the members. Schoolchildren and students had less time, adults were concerned about their private and professional careers, people wanted to experience everything and go everywhere. And so it wasn't always attractive to be committed to a training or point game operation.

At the beginning of the new millennium we had four men's teams. The 1st men was in the Hamburg League, but the stable base was missing. We stood by our philosophy unchanged - quality is the best recipe. The youth department continued to run well. For the first time in our history we had a young active member of the association squad, Jan Niklas Meyer. It didn't take long before Jan Niklas, as a 12-year-old B-student, was already a regular in our 1. Men - a completely new experience.

And another novelty: In 2004 we were the first Hamburg department to hire an employee in the voluntary social year (FSJ), Jan Meyer. A fifth men's team was added. In the following year, Benjamin Dohse completed his FSJ in our department.

In addition to the classic competition operation, a hobby department was set up, with an independent time, without a point game connection, women and men mixed. The success of this group has been very encouraging. And the youth game business also grew. Not infrequently we were - measured by the number of teams - among the largest youth departments in Hamburg. And in 2008 a sixth men's team was added.

At the end of the new decade there was another boost: With Jan Niklas Meyer and Marcel von Würzen, two of our youngsters decided to do a voluntary social year in the department, the following year Jannis Wittek. This enabled the level to be increased again. Up to ten licensed trainers were sometimes working for our department at the same time.

Now it was time to define a new goal: the Oberliga project. The 1st men was supplemented by ambitious players who wanted more. And in time for the 50th anniversary in 2010, the goal was announced. With Tobias Schmidt, who was already connected to us as a youth coach, we had a newcomer with regional league experience who, together with the young and wild Jan Niklas Meyer, Philipp Ruzanska and the veterans Sebastian Baum, Tom Krause and Marc Kaiser, actually made promotion to the top division possible made, albeit with hanging and choking, as a replacement due to a subsequent waiver of another club.

Agenda 2020 - What does the future hold?

In the last 20 years, the department has reached the highest Hamburg game classes for adults and young people and recently even made it into the regional league. We have cup winners, national finalists and Hamburg champions in our ranks, we are active in clubs and associations - where are the goals?

Like all social values, sport is also changing. In the past, only the comparison of performance counted in sports clubs, today a successful club has to create a much more diverse range of offers. Adults don't just want to move up. But they have a desire to improve their skills in all age groups. Participation in a lower team or regular free play in a community are goals that a department can be proud of. In times of a powerful virtual parallel world, a sports community has a permanent place in society. Social competence, technical competence and a fair tone are criteria for the selection of leisure activities.

We have enough ideas for the further development of the department. Table tennis as a sport still has a great future, because everyone can play table tennis! Table tennis is lively and fast, modern, demanding for body and mind, healthy and also a real life-time sport. A target group-oriented offer for young and old is the key, as is networking with schools, kindergartens, the activation of parents, middle-agers, returners and amateur athletes. And unchanged: quality as the benchmark.

Peter Dietterle