Sports in Germany
South Africans are generally a sport crazy bunch. Not just watching it, but also actively taking part. Participating in sports here in Germany has its challenges, mostly due to the weather. But, as the German saying goes – there isn’t something like bad weather, only bad clothing and many South Africans in Germany live by this motto and go out for a run or a cycle in what would be considered “stay home and light the fire” weather back in South Africa.
We will try and list some resources for some sports activities here to help you get “back into the saddle” here in Germany.
Running in Germany is a popular sport, despite the fact that it can get quite cold in Germany in winter. That being said, it also has a certain magic about going for a run in the snow – not to talk about the good training it is to run in ankle deep snow, similar to running on beach sand!
The winter attire for running might be a little unusual for South Africans, especially the men, with tights galore. However, one runs not to look good while you run, but afterwards, right? Anyway, one overly freezing run without tights, convinces one to accept and adapt very fast.
In summer running is really a pleasure in Germany, since the tons of cycling routes available in Germany provide an excellent way to explore and build your running capacity without having to battle vehicular traffic. Another great pleasure of running in Germany is the fact that often a lake is normally not all too far away, so a quick dip to cool down is a real option on many running routes.
Running events and race day
Taking part in official running events (races, like half-marathons or marathons, etc) in Germany is a little less formalised than in South Africa, in the sense that you don’t have to belong to a club to join official runs. Most running events are organised by sports clubs and the participation fee covers all elements of the run. Generally speaking, the earlier you enter the race, the cheaper it becomes. Often you can also enter on the day of a race too (as long as the maximum capacity has not been reached), at approximately double the cost of an early entrant.
What sometimes takes some getting used to is that races in Germany normally start much later in the day (a race starting at 10:00 or even later is not unusual, especially in winter) than in South Africa. Water supply during a race is also quite different in Germany than in South Africa, with cups being used rather than sachets as in SA, making it much harder to run-and-drink in our opinion. What you can also often do at many of the longer races is to prepare and drop off your own drinks a day before the race (normally when you pick up your race number) which the event organisers will then position for you along the route. This is a good way to get around the cup-drinking-mess if you are so inclined. Most larger races also offer good race logistics, such as bag drop services and showering facilities after the race.
Some good race listing sites suggested by our members are:
- Lauftreff: http://www.lauftreff.de/laufkalender/ (where you can sort the races by your postal code (PLZ))
- MyRaceLand: https://www.myraceland.com/en/running-calendar/germany/
Everyday running and our Strava club
For your everyday running, the app Strava can help a lot to help you find routes in your local vicinity. We also have our own “South Africans in Germany” running club listed on Strava under the following link: https://www.strava.com/clubs/956800. Feel free to join our online running club there and share your running ups and downs with us. The Strava app is also the most popular app in South Africa, so you can follow and support both your friends back in South Africa as well as South Africans in Germany easily in one app.
Yes, cricket is played actively here in Germany. We are working on some text to explain the cricket scene. Watch this space!
Rugby, Soccer(Football) and other team sports
Groups and Forums
There is a Sports forum on this website, that is open to everyone to read. To add content you need to be a registered member (no member fees)
We also have groups on our website. Currently, the sports-related groups are hiking, rugby, and cricket. Only members can see these groups. They can also great new groups and invite friends