Former ICSSPE President Receives Federal Order of Merit

Prof. Gudrun Doll-Tepper Talks About Challenges and Rewards
05/11/2012 07:00

In Berlin, Germany, earlier this week Prof. Gudrun Doll-Tepper had the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Federal Cross of Merit) bestowed upon her in recognition of her outstanding commitment and services to the development of sport and sport science through regional, national and international activities spanning elite sport, inclusive sport for all, and sport for the disabled.  Bundesverdienstkreuz is the colloquial term used to refer to the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.  On behalf of the President, Prof. Doll-Tepper was presented with the decoration of the Verdienstkreuz 1 Klass (First Class Officer’s Cross) and honoured in a speech by Berlin’s Governing Mayor, Klaus Wowereit during a ceremony at the city’s Town Hall on Monday 7th May, 2012.


In his speech Mr Wowereit affirmed Prof. Doll-Tepper’s status as a globally respected representative of the sports city of Berlin.  He acknowledged Prof. Doll-Tepper as both a renowned sport scientist and sport functionary engaged in numerous offices and responsibilities in Berlin, throughout Germany and internationally via which she has achieved much for the development of sport and societal cohesion in Germany.  Mr Wowereit described sport, and sports organisations, as a field that for her is all about public welfare.  Further he explained that school sport, in particular sport for the disabled, and integrative pedagogy are central topics for Prof. Doll-Tepper both scientifically and socially.  To conclude Mr Wowereit commended Prof. Doll-Tepper for her consistent and successful efforts in these areas, as well as her research, support and promotion of women in German sport organisations. 


Head of Inclusive Education, Physical Activity, and Sport at the Freie Universität Berlin, since 2006, Prof. Gudrun Doll-Tepper is also a visiting professor at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium and the Chinese Beijing Sports University in Beijing.  In addition she is currently Vice-President of the German Olympic Sport Confederation (responsible for Education and Olympic Education), and Chairperson of the German Olympic Academy Willi Daume, and has previously held a number of honorary posts including an eleven-year tenure as ICSSPE President (1997-2008).  


Gudrun, as she is informally referred to in the ICSSPE Executive Office, boasts an extensive resume accompanied by a string of accolades. Though when asked to describe the achievements about which she feels the greatest sense of accomplishment and pride, ever humble, she reflects most fondly on opportunities she has had to work together in and lead great teams of people, with very diverse backgrounds, sometimes over extended periods.  In particular she highlights those team efforts “focusing on the state and status of physical education worldwide i.e. the World Summits on Physical Education I & II, and on changes and challenges of the disability sport movement where enormous progress has been made.  I am very glad to have been involved in these developments”.


Clearly Prof. Doll-Tepper has been involved in and witnessed enormous growth and development in sport and sport science disciplines throughout her career.  So what does she consider the greatest challenges are for those following in her footsteps today? 


“When I look back in my career I had the great opportunity to combine my work at schools and universities with volunteer work in sport and sport science organisations, for example ICSSPE and the German Olympic Sports Confederation.  Many young people today do not get long-term contracts, such as at universities or in research institutions, therefore they find it difficult to make a contribution as volunteers because they are lacking a secure financial basis”.


Currently looking into the foreseeable future Prof. Doll-Tepper is focused on the role and impact of physical education and sport in educational contexts, and how to ensure quality teacher preparation and teaching in schools.  And a second topic relates to the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities via action plans based on joint effort with different partners in society.


ICSSPE congratulates Prof. Gudrun Doll-Tepper on the recognition she has received for her valuable work in the form of the Bundesverdienstkreuz, and wishes her well in both the foreseeable and unforeseeable future.