German University Sports Federation

The German University Sports Federation (adh) is the umbrella organisation oft he German University Sports Institutions. More than 200 universities with around 2,500,000 million students and 550,000 employees are members of the adh. The adh represents their interests and is committed to the development of university sport. In doing so, the federation acts at the interface between sport and education and is actively involved in organised sport at national and international level.

The adh takes socio-political contexts into account and takes a stand. The adh stands up for manipulation-free sport and sustainably promotes awareness of fair play. Its actions are geared towards economic, ecological and social sustainability. The association is characterised by a basic democratic understanding, an open culture of discussion, active student participation and diversity. The adh promotes and preserves this according to the principle of equal opportunities.

University sport is an indispensable part of university life

The promotion of sport at universities is anchored in law. University sport is essentially aimed at the members of the universities and contributes to the quality of life and the creation of identity. It is characterised by a comprehensive understanding of sport and exercise. Inherent in university sports are educational and learning opportunities.

The German University Championship (DHM) is the central adh competition format. In addition, the competition programme is supplemented by the German University Cup (DHP), adh-Open and adh-Trophy events, which set alternative focal points. In addition, the adh enables students to participate in international competitions and sends national student teams to FISU World University Games and Championships (WUC). At European level, students can compete at the European University Games (EUG) and Championships (EUC). 

Springboard for top athletes

It must be possible to combine studies and competitive sports. The adh makes its contribution to the successful implementation of a dual career. Therefore the adh and its partners initiated the successful project "partner university of high performance ports" in 1999.

University sport enriches the educational landscape

The adh develops practice-oriented educational programmes to impart knowledge and social skills on a broad and forward-looking basis. The association's educational and networking work as well as knowledge management make a significant contribution to the qualification of volunteers as well as full-time and part-time university sports staff.

Since 2003, the adh has been specifically promoting junior females with the Tandem Mentoring project, which has received national and international awards. The core of the project is the cooperation between an experienced manager (mentor) and a junior staff member (mentee). All mentees so far have succeeded in starting their careers.

As part of the formal education offered by the university, university sport also enables the acquisition of recognised academic credits.

University sport shapes sports development

By hosting the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU World University Games as the largest multi-sport event besides the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the adh has the opportunity to make sports history. From 16 to 27 July 2025, the Rhine-Ruhr region will host around 10,000 athletes and officials from 170 countries. The athletes will compete in 18 sports over twelve days in Bochum, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Essen and Mülheim an der Ruhr. In addition to top-level sporting comparisons, the focus of the event is on science, sustainability and innovation as well as intercultural exchange. The adh claims to make a significant contribution to national and international sports development in the next decade.

University sport shapes health promotion

The adh supports health-promoting changes in the university environment. The aim is to promote the physical, mental and social health of all university members. University sport should be strengthened as a relevant actor in health promotion in the university setting and, in particular, student health promotion should be offered by university sport across the board.

The sustainable promotion of physical activity among students has also been the focus of the successful joint initiative of adh and Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) "Bewegt studieren - Studieren bewegt!" since 2017.