History of the Römer Tennisclub Wixhausen e.V.

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On December 10, 1974, the Soviet exile writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn accepted the Nobel Prize for Literature in Stockholm, which had already been awarded to him in 1970. Also in Wixhausen, history should be written on this day. Pastor Heino Voß had invited the local tennis enthusiasts to the "barn" of the Protestant parish with the aim of founding a tennis club in Wixhausen. In this inaugural meeting in the Römergasse, as expected, there were enough people present who initially appointed a temporary board. This committee consisted of: 1. Chairman Heino Voß, 2nd Chairman Klaus Fröhlich, cashier Herbert Rott, secretary Jens Uwe Herzbruch and sports manager Dieter Klöppinger. The management of the office was delegated to Gisela Rott. This first board had not yet been formally elected and was only set up to initiate the necessary formalities such as registration in the register of associations and other matters. On January 14, 1975, then already 55 tennis-interested met to confirm the board by election into office. Thus, the Römer tennis Club Rot-Weiss Wixhausen now existed formally, but still without any own playing facilities.

 

Nevertheless, the good contacts of the sports manager Dieter Klöppinger made limited playing opportunities possible. Thus, tennis could be played in the gymnasiums of the TuS Griesheim and the Hessenwaldschule. The beginners were trained by members who were already able to play tennis. Even the TSG gymnasium in Falltorstraße was used for the beginner's basic training and everyone had a lot of fun doing it. Thanks to the support of Pastor and club chairman Heino Voss, the Evangelical parish Wixhausen put the site behind the mayor Pohl House as a leasehold at the disposal of the Club. In March 1975, the club reported 42 members to the Landessportbund Hessen. In the same year, the club started with the construction of three tennis courts. For the financing of this vital construction measure, each member had to consent to a guarantee of 1000 DM. At that time, the construction costs amounted to 83,000 DM. The annual membership fees were then 120 DM for individuals and 180 DM per couple, the admission fees then amounting to 200 DM per individual and 300 DM per couple.

The inauguration of the 3 tennis courts took place in April 1976, unfortunately under extremely bad weather conditions. The accommodation and changing facilities were provided by a Lufthansa container. It was thanks to the activities of some members that the inside of the container was also refurbished. Furthermore, the construction of a log cabin was also started in 1976. Friendly matches against the Fa. Pittler in the summer season of 1976 enabled the collection of match practice and thus the first participation in a medal round in the next year. For this purpose, a women's and men's team was announced. Not to forget the football friendlies at end of the seventies against the table tennis department of the TSG. The proceeds from these events went to the Aumühlen residents in Wixhausen.

The number of members grew steadily in these years, so that the construction of two further courts was envisaged. Again a contractor was commissioned for the construction of the courts 4 and 5, which were completed in 1980 with a construction cost of 98,000 DM and could be handed over to the members. Thus, the meanwhile substantially increased number of members found optimal playing possibilities. The periphery of the tennis courts took more and more shape and offered, especially for families, a large adjacent lawn and a children's playground and thus more attractive ways of recreational activities in addition to the tennis game. At joke tournaments, club championships and card games, sociability and conviviality certainly also had their fair share.

From donations of some members a chestnut tree was planted in November 1983.

 

In the middle of the eighties the log cabin was substantially extended with the personal help of the members and equipped with an outdoor free seat. Although the changing facilities had been improved, heretofore, only a homemade Gardena shower on the lawn served as a shower. During the official tournaments, the showers of the mayor Pohl house were used. The toilets on the neighboring fairground were used almost exclusively by the tennis club during this time. The cleaning of the hut and the maintenance of the facilities were organized and carried out by the club's own cleaning service in self-help. In February 1985 a deficiency guarantee of the city of Darmstadt replaced the individual guarantees of the members. In March 1985 Horst Kayser was elected as the first chairman, who led the club for 16 years.

 

A very sad chapter of the club's history took place on the morning of January 28, 1987, when the shelter-house and outdoor seating area, built with great sacrifices by the members, were destroyed by fire. After completing the cleanup work, a locker box had to be quickly installed as a replacement. The board and members discussed the construction of a new, massive functional building. The fire insurance, subsidies from the city, the state of Hessen and the Landessportbund enabled the Club to create the new functional building in conjunction with generous contributions from its own members. In the planning of the building, the board had initially renounced the construction of toilets. The members should continue to use the facilities on the neighboring fairground area. Members should also be spared the constant cleaning of club-owned toilets. However, at the presentation of these plans in an extraordinary general meeting, the members hailed massive protests against these arguments. These plans were thus very quickly corrected. In addition to changing facilities, shower rooms and toilets were installed in the building, which was inaugurated on the Whitsun weekend in 1989.

The tennis boom fueled by Steffi Graf and Boris Becker also inspired the tennis players in Wixhausen. In the mid-eighties, the interest in becoming a member of the Roman Tennis Club Wixhausen was so great that waiting lists had to be set up. With 260 members in 1986, it was even necessary to introduce an admission-stop, because the 5 tennis courts were being used so intensively that it had come to waiting times. However, despite the beautiful and well-maintained tennis facility, the membership level could not be maintained. Since 1990, the membership numbers decreased continuously. Already in 1996, the club renounced as one of the first on an admission fee. Several promotion events such as open days, trial tennis and advertisement series in the local press to attract new members followed in the following years. Also at the Sports Festival 2000, in which the tennis club played a decisive role in sporting and social activities, the club offered tennis enthusiasts the opportunity to try things out.

The sporting highlights were the middle of the eighties, the first men's team, which had established itself in the district league A and this level and was able to maintain its activities for several years. The nineties were sportively influenced by the young senior women. Since the founding of this team, things have been going constantly uphill. From the district class B over A and the district league B, the team rose in 1996 in the district league A, which could be held for a year.

The board had to deal again and again - and since the mid-eighties - with the noise pollution complaint of a neighboring resident, which had been dismissed by the Regional Court Darmstadt on April 3, 1988 at first instance. In 1990, the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court decided that no tennis could be played on all five courts after 10 pm! But the neighbor then complained - luckily unsuccessfully - before the administrative court in Kassel against the city of Darmstadt on the grounds that the initial planning permission for the courts had not been legally correct.

 

As in every club, there are some curiosities to record over time. For example, in 1976, a retirement bank, presented as a donation from a political party, led to a substantial dispute between local political bodies and in the pages of the editorial staff of the local press.

 

In 1992, the club was confronted with the general water emergency. To obtain sand courts, however, there is always a relatively large amount of water necessary. So it was necessary to sensitize the members to limit the water consumption and to pay attention to the preservation of the courts. The playing and watering times had to be regulated by the board in accordance with the requirements of the environmental authorities and thus be severely limited.

 

In 2006, the tennis club skidded into its worst crisis ever. With now only 80 members, the board had been looking for a year emphatically but unsuccessfully for members who were ready to take over the work of the board. The dissolution of the club threatened in the context of an extraordinary general meeting. After heated debates, Julia Riel and Christel Waberseck were willing to rescue the club. Previous board members formed a working committee, so that their knowledge and experience remained available for tennis court maintenance, irrigation and other technical issues.

 

The new board engaged the support of a tennis coach and started an intensive youth work, which could be intensified via a cooperation with the Georg-August-Zinn-School. The age- and illness-related losses of members could be compensated for by these means. In 2017 more than 50% of the active club members were children and juniors.

 

In 2009, Andreas Bauer had the idea of inviting the members of the other Wixhäuser clubs to a tennis tournament on Corpus Christi day. The clubs set up teams of two (male / female / mixed), who then competed against each other. So it came to lots of laughter in comic matches, even for those without much experience with the tennis racket. There are no knockout games because a leaderboard is played. Thus, each team gets to play many matches. Andreas Bauer as organizer provides a table completed with various prices, from which can then be selected in the order of the ranking list. The big barbecue is started in good time, so that one can celebrate with food and drink into the night. The tournament on Corpus Christi is now a fixed date in the Wixhäuser calendar of events.

 

With all the many changes in the board and members, there is one stable constant at the tennis club: Since the founding of the club until today, Gisela Rott leads the office of the Club. That's a masterpiece indeed!

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