The handball players of SG BBM Bietigheim are the most successful team in history – but they are not valued much by the city. Perhaps the reason for this is the dispute between two men.
The handball players of SG BBM Bietigheim won everything that could have been won: 53 victories in all competitions, and this alone is an exceptional historical achievement. In all, the Bettgenheim Women have won four titles: the Super Cup, the European League, the Championship and most recently the DHB Cup. No women’s handball team in Germany has achieved such success. But Bettigheim and Mayor Jürgen Kissing fall back with honors for the top team.
Discord between alpha males hinders handball players
What surprises not only the citizens of the city is, upon closer examination, perhaps due to the significant discrepancies between the mayor of Bietigheim and the great sponsor of handball players, Eberhard Bezner, the chief sponsor of the main sponsor. No one wants to officially confirm this, but it seems that the two alphas are so opposing that even the players themselves feel it.
SG Managing Director Lena Backhaus says: “Basically, our girls would have been very happy when we came back from the European Cup to welcome the city here. And that’s just the case, we think that’s a shame.”
No reception at Bietigheim City Hall?
Jürgen Kissing is definitely a sports fan. The former pole vaulter and decathlon is the president of the German Athletics Federation. The 65-year-old was captain of the second-tier handball team Dessauer HV during his tenure as mayor of Dessau. What is even more surprising is that he tends to ignore handball players, even when he says about their successes: “You can only congratulate them, and this is of course the flagship for our city. At the national level and having also achieved international success, this of course surpasses them also in international waves.”
When asked how the city wanted to honor the handball players, Kissing replied: “Of course, it would be possible to have a reception at the city hall with an entry in the city’s golden book, but we are also able, the book is not that difficult to go to training.”
The topic of “Honoring the 2021 Team of the Year” was discussed, as handball players were selected for this purpose. The city’s sports administration had proposed April 28 as a date at the beginning of April. But those in charge of SG requested that the award be postponed to July, as the team was playing in the decisive stage of both the European Cup and the struggle for the German championship.
Bietigheim loses a charming figure
Now the mayor wants to use the date in July to get all the honors at once. If things do not go well in the town hall, he is also welcome to come to the rehearsals, “Then I will throw two or three balls on the goal there and then you can do it there in such a setting. Talk about it calmly and then find a framework Then do it appropriately.”
The bottom line is that the whole thing leaves a very bad taste for those in charge of handball players. It is clear that the differences to be overcome between the mayor and the general secretary are really deep. There is no other way to interpret Lena Backhaus’ statement: “We are always open, open to discussions, open to collaboration and new ideas, and if not here, gladly elsewhere.” Bietigheim may even lose a charming figure in the future. What a bitter development.