From the beginning sports and especially football were competing with gymnastics, which is considered to have had its start with the open-air gymnasium in Hasenheide. Both sports and gymnastics share the goal of teaching above all young people to enjoy movement.

Playing outdoors instils enjoyment in movement.

Germany’s modern body culture originated in the kind of physical education that was developed in the late 18th century, for example, by Johann Christoph Friedrich GutsMuths. Friedrich Ludwig Jahn took up the idea of harmonious development of body and mind and created a grassroots movement with his “German gymnastics” (“deutsche Turnkunst”). In 1811, Jahn opened the first public outdoor gymnasium in the Berlin Hasenheide for physical exercises outdoors. At times these exercises were prohibited and prosecuted, but gymnastics experienced a significant upswing in the course of the 19th century. Starting in 1861, gymnastics lessons became mandatory in schools. With the increasing spread of English sports in connection with the growing industrialization, the gymnasts found their dominant position threatened in the late 19th century. The main points of contention were the focus on individual peak performance and the competitions. Even though particularly football was considered to compete against gymnastics, several gymnastics clubs nevertheless offered to teach the game. Both sports share the original idea of instilling enjoyment in movement through outdoor play and exercise and thus to develop the personality in a holistic way.

Additional topics on the information board

  • Criticism of “soccer loutishness”
  • Change in gymnastics
  • Football in rear courtyards
  • Football grounds and football cages