Klimpansen from Sonsbeck win NRW victory “Stars of Sports”

Award for outstanding social commitment
Including climbing group from Sonsbeck wins NRW in the “Stars of Sports” competition

The inclusive climbing group from Sonsbeck has won the NRW state victory in the “Stars of Sports” competition from more than 100 projects. In January we’re going to Berlin, where Chancellor Scholz will choose the national winner.

Willi Kisters can hardly save himself from inquiries at the moment. Congratulations rained down on the head of the Klimpansen by phone, Facebook and Instagram. Because the inclusive climbing group of the sports club (SV) Sonsbeck emerged on Monday evening from more than 100 projects as the NRW state winner 2022 of the nationwide competition “Stars of Sports”. The prize of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) and the Volksbanken in Germany honors sports clubs and their voluntary helpers for outstanding social commitment. With the state victory, the Sonsbeckers will go to Berlin in January, where they are expected to meet Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the federal decision.

“We have to digest that first, we didn’t expect that,” says Kisters. “Of course we were hoping for opportunities and when I read the application I thought with pride: We’re doing quite a package.” But the other five projects in the final round at state level are “excellent”, he emphasizes.

At the Klimpanse, people with and without disabilities learn to climb together.

At the Klimpanse, people with and without disabilities learn to climb together.
Photo: Ostermann, Olaf (oo)

The award ceremony, moderated by ARD sports journalist Peter Grossmann, was followed with corresponding excitement in the Sankt Bernardus chapel event center in Oberhausen. “As the event went on, the tension in the Sonsbeck delegation increased,” reports Guido Lohmann, head of the Volksbank Niederrhein, which had actively supported the Klimpanse in their application. “Once places six to four had been named, it was clear to everyone that they would definitely end up on the podium,” Lohmann continues. When the Bielefeld sports club was awarded third place for its project, SV club chairman Marc Lemkens was almost bursting with excitement. “I can’t take it anymore,” he exclaimed nervously.

A few minutes later he should be redeemed. MTB Wendener Land was called onto the stage as the runner-up. And there was no stopping the Sonsbeckern. Huge cheers spread. Moderator Gossmann’s announcement “The 2022 state winners for North Rhine-Westphalia are the climps from SV Sonsbeck” was just a formality. Beaming with joy, the Klimpansen sang “Berlin, Berlin, we’re going to Berlin” on stage, while the members Norbert Quinders and Willi Kisters received the coveted “Big Star in Silver” from Ralf-Rainer Klatt, head of the NRW State Sports Association, and NRW Sports State Secretary Andrea Milz accepted.

Children, adolescents and young adults with and without disabilities have been learning to climb together with the Sonsbecker Klimpansen for 23 years. In addition to having fun while exercising, the idea of ​​inclusion and the social group experience play a central role: when climbing, everyone has to be able to rely on one another. You gain self-confidence, feel responsibility and trust. “In recent years we have significantly expanded our profile and established inclusive climbing,” says Kisters. In October 2021, with the support of a Leader grant, sponsors and volunteers, a dedicated eleven-meter-high climbing rock was built in the Willy-Lemkens-Sportpark. The so-called Sonsberg offers the opportunity to surpass yourself on 65 routes of various difficulty levels. The routes were planned and screwed in-house and are adapted to the needs of people with disabilities.

Another Sonsberg department was founded in the spring of this year, the members of which enable public operation of the climbing rock. There are regular climbing training courses, which will even be free of charge for volunteers in youth work in 2022, and including events such as the “Klimalayatag”, in which the 8000 meter altitude mark should be broken in eight hours with as many participants as possible. With success. Now the climps are climbing towards the stars.