The University Sports Club Heidelberg (USC), best known for its basketball exploits (German champion on several occasions), is 100 years old this year. To mark the occasion the Club is holding a centenary ceremony in the Great Hall of the Old University on 9 October 1999 at 11.15 a.m. All friends and supporters of the Club are cordially invited to attend. The central address will be held by the chief public relations officer of Deutsche Bank, Hanns Michael Hölz, who will be talking about clubs and societies in the economic context. At 4 p.m. there will be an Oldies basketball game in the hall of the Institute of Sport and Sport Science, featuring former champion team members, followed at 6 p.m. by an official Federal League basketball game against Frankfurt. The celebrations end with a party at the Institute. In honour of the occasion, the Club is issuing a festschrift covering all the ups and downs of the USC over the last 100 years.
Organised university sport in Germany dates back to 1893 when a group of mostly British and Dutch students founded the Academic Sport Club (ASC) in Berlin. Six years later the ASC Strasbourg (then, of course, a German city) was established by Ivo Schricker, a noted footballer and athlete later to become secretary general of FIFA in Geneva.
The ASC Strasbourg's most prominent member was tennis-player Otto Froitzheim, German champion on several occasions, silver medallist at the Olympic Games in 1908, world singles champion in 1912 and Wimbledon finalist in 1914.
The ASC'S emphasis on tennis was later diversified by the addition of winter sports, hockey and ice hockey, with interest in the latter reaching a high-point in 1910 when the club's six tennis courts were transformed into ice-rinks.
By 1910 the ASC's reputation was such that many young sport enthusiasts did their best to study in Strasbourg for a few terms in order to have a share in the ASC's sporting glory. However, the outbreak of the First World War put a temporary end to its activities.
Heidelberg had an ASC as early as 1901 with a major emphasis on rowing. After the war, in March 1919, the Club resumed its activities and with the support of the Rector of Heidelberg University the new ASC Heidelberg (Strasbourg) was founded, soon followed in late 1919 by a women's division.
The interwar years saw an extension of activities to include water sports, climbing and skiing. Donations and selfless honorary commitment enabled the ASC to set up a clubhouse of its own. After 1933 activities were hampered by the ascent to power of the National Socialists. The Club refrained from seeking membership in the Third Reich's Physical Exercise Federation, and this effectively spelled the end of its official existence.
After the end of hostilities former members were quick to revitalise the Club, which was put back on an official footing at an assembly on 18 November 1949. The new name "University Sport Club Heidelberg (ASC Strasbourg)" was designed to reflect both the links with the University and the allegiance of the new USC to the old ASC.
Please address any inquiries to:
Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221 542310, fax: 542317