Gymnastics and sports club
Westerland/Sylt e.V.

Historical review

In 1983, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the gymnastics and sports club, the chairman of the TSV, Peter Schnittgard, summed up the eventful history of the club with the words “100 years old and still so young”. The association has remained true to this motto to this day. The gymnastic and athletic development continued continuously and today reaches a considerable level that extends beyond the borders of Westerland.

On November 27, 1883, 15 Westerlanders, all members of the fire brigade founded in 1880, founded the “Men’s Gymnastics Club of Westerland”. The chairman was the skipper Heinrich Martinsen, 1st gymnastics warden Heinrich Hamelau. In November 1888, Fritz Rossberg, a book printer from Leipzig, joined the association. He brought a wealth of experience in the field of gymnastics, encouraged the introduction of uniform gymnastics clothing and founded a team of apprentices in 1892. As a result, there was a steady increase in the gymnastics movement on Sylt in the following years. Show gymnastics evenings were organized and gymnastics festivals were attended on the mainland, suitable literature served the further training of the gymnastics warden, the pre-gymnasts and gymnasts.

In addition to gymnastics, the social part of club life was not neglected. As early as 1884, MTV organized the first masquerade. Since 1948 it has been an integral part of the club’s festivities as a children’s masquerade. They met at gymnastics, parades and balls, and for the 5th foundation celebration of the club in November 1888, the 1st sponsor of the club, bathing director Dr. Julius Adrian Pollaczek, joined the MTV. He was so enthusiastic about the “excellent performances” that he spontaneously made a sum of money available to the association for further support and asked to be accepted as a supporting member. For a report on the further course of the gymnastics festival, he provided columns in the “Sylter Kurzeitung und Intelligenz-Blatt”, the later “Sylter Zeitung” (1923).
The gymnasts also provided help in the social field, members who were in need through no fault of their own were cared for and spontaneous financial support was given to the widow of a deceased gymnast.

In the 1st World War (1914 – 1918) it became quiet around the MTV, the club life could hardly be maintained.
It was not until after the war that the first meeting of loyal active and passive members took place again in 1919. “This first meeting turned out to be a single declaration of loyalty to the old gymnastics thing,” said the commemorative publication on the occasion of the club’s 75th anniversary.

The year 1919 was also marked by the introduction of new sports in MTV, so in this year the fistball division was created, the oldest division in the TSV next to gymnastics. Shortly thereafter, on 23 December 1919, the sports movement made its final breakthrough with football on Sylt. In the hotel “Seeburg” the 1st Sylt Football Club was founded, chairman was Felix Scholz. Coming from Arminia Hannover to Sylt, he brought with him a wealth of footballing experience. Friendly matches against well-known opponents, such as Hamburger SV, quickly made football the most popular sport on the island, and a friendly sporting exchange took place with the footballers of the Navy in List.

On November 3, 1920, Dora Pahl, b. Böge, the women’s gymnastics division. Before she came to Westerland from Flensburg in 1920, she had belonged to the local men’s gymnastics club for almost 20 years and attended the pre-gymnastics lessons. Her good gymnastic training was the basis for a determined and successful development work in women’s gymnastics. At the 37th foundation celebration of the association on November 27, 1920, the almost 50-strong women’s department appeared in public for the first time. In his ceremonial speech, Ferdinand Pförtner noted with satisfaction the growth of women’s gymnastics. He ended his speech with the words: “Especially for the youth, there is nothing better and more beautiful than German gymnastics, as it was brought to blossom in the most difficult times by the gymnastics father Ludwig Jahn”.

The following year, 1921, there was a separation of the “best forces of the gymnasts and women’s section of MTV” from the rest of the sports movements through the founding of the “New Gymnastics Club”. However, the tensions over the further orientation of the club were overcome after a short time and in March 1922 in the “Bratwurstglöckl”, a restaurant owned by Felix Scholz, the then three Westerland clubs “Männer-Turn-Verein”, “Neuer Turnverein” and “1.

Noteworthy is the founding of the “Verband für Leibesübungen Sylt” in the same year in which the Westerland clubs, the Turn- und Sportverein Keitum, the Turnverein Morsum, the Norddörfer Turn- und Spielverein and the Jugendbund List merged. In § 1 of the statutes of the association it was stated: “The V.f.L. Sylt causes the cultivation of gymnastics, sports and games for women and men. He wants to create a stronger connection for gymnastics and sports clubs. He organizes island game festivals.”

After the New Gymnastics Club dissolved at the end of the twenties, gymnasts and athletes were looking for a new basis, which they found in 1929 in a general assembly of the Men’s Gymnastics Club and the 1st Sylt Football Club by founding the “Turn- und Sportverein Westerland e. V. von 1883” in the “sign of unanimity and mutual understanding”. Heinrich Zinnendorf became chairman.

The existing reports on the following years of the TSV are incomplete, the time before and during the 2nd World War (1939 – 1945) was marked by the co-ordination of sport and the dissolution of the existing sports organizations. TSV was also affected by this. After initial difficulties, the exercises were back on track, and the fast-growing children’s department in particular led to a temporary admission ban.

With Directive No. 23, the Allied Control Council regulated the sporting activities and thus also the sport under British occupation on Sylt after the end of the 2nd World War in 1945. With golf, football, hockey, badminton, boxing, squash and others, the English exerted a strong influence on the sporting events of the island, which can still be felt today.

During the first post-war meeting of TSV Westerland 1883 e.V. on 10 May 1946, the mayor Andreas Nielsen declared after the introductory report of the club chairman Paul Rossberg that the newly founded club could count on any support from the city of Westerland and the British military government.
Despite considerable initial problems, club sports revived very quickly and the number of members grew from year to year.
After Paul Rossberg, Adolf Jessen and Bernhard Ipsen, who each chaired the TSV for about a year, city architect Karl Buchloh, an enthusiastic hockey player, was elected chairman of the club in 1949. He led the club for 35 years! He found a suitable successor in 1984 in Peter Schnittgard, the then spa director of Sylt-Ost, who distinguished himself early on as a versatile athlete and organizer. For more than 20 years now, Peter Schnittgard and his treasurer Heinz Warnemünde have been leading the association extremely successfully with skill and expertise.

Today’s organization

The board is supported by a full-time managing director, who is responsible for sporting matters and the TSV club, youth and guest home.
In conjunction with the district sports association NF, two qualified sports teachers give gymnastics and sports lessons at the TSV. They support about 45 trainers, whose qualifications as well as further education and training are constantly being improved.

The sports operation takes place in 13 divisions and 8 overarching divisional groups:

The handball division has existed since 1946 at TSV Westerland, and since 1989 it has formed a syndicate with Sportfreunde List in the “SG Westerland-List”.

In 2002, the footballers of TSV Westerland merged with the clubs TSV Morsum, Tinnum 66 and Sportfreunde List to form “Team Sylt e. V. von 2002”.

In addition to gymnastics for parents and children, toddler and children’s gymnastics and performance-related gymnastics for girls and boys, the gymnastics division also offers dance for children, gymnastics and games for women, aerobics, jazz, senior and soft gymnastics. In rehabilitation sports, she trains seniors in coronary sports in a cardiac sports group.

The basketball and volleyball divisions offer their sport as a recreational and recreational sport.

The badminton division is one of the most successful sports disciplines in the TSV.

Fistball is played in an age group in the hall and on the lawn.

Three judo sports are organized in the TSV. Judo, karate and teak wondo are divided into age groups, the martial artists compete on many levels in championships and tournaments.

The swimming division has merged with the swimming division of Rot Weiß Niebüll to form a swimming community in North Frisia. She competes with the Niebüllers in team competitions, but trains regularly in the indoor pool of the MVS List on 25m short tracks. It is currently the most successful division in the TSV with the participation of 2 athletes of the performance group at the German Age Group Championships 2006 in swimming.
Children can learn to swim and earn the “Seahorse” swimming badge.

The athletics division offers children and young people not only the classic disciplines of athletics, but also running and movement games. The German Sports Badge can be obtained by all age groups.

Last but not least, the tennis and volleyball divisions offer training times.

“Nordic walking” and “strength and conditioning training” can be carried out at the TSV across all disciplines, but activities such as “running club”, “sport and games”, “school and club”, “general sport” and “playgroups” also offer all interested parties opportunities for physical exercise.


The TSV has over 1800 members, including 835 children, pupils and young people.

The youth and guest home with 23 beds and kitchen is an ideal training camp on Sylt for youth groups, athletes, guest clubs and guests.
Next to the clubhouse there is a barbecue area as well as playgrounds and competition fields with lawns for children.