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The TU Makes It Possible

How the 200-meter dash athlete Rebekka Haase celebrates international success and manages her psychology studies at the TU Chemnitz at the same time

  • Psychology student Rebekka Haase hits the ground running: After successfully taking part in the World Championships in Athletics in Beijing, she is eagerly looking forward to the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam and the Olympic Games in Rio in the next season. Photo: private

In the past season she outran everyone: Rebekka Haase was victorious in the European Athletics U23 Championships in Tallinn in the 100- and 200-meter dash as well as in the 4 x 100 meters relay. Just two weeks later she won the title in the 200-meter dash at the German Championships in Nuremberg. She was also extremely successful at the World Championships in Berlin: She made her way to fifth place with the German 4 x 100 meters relay.

But how does the 22-year-old manage her psychology studies at the TU Chemnitz while celebrating one international success after another? “This semester it was hardly possible for me to concentrate on studying,” says Haase. “Over the entire semester I was only home for two weeks. It would have been possible to make up the exams until September, but after the season I was so exhausted that at first I was just sick.”
The opportunity to arrange later exam dates is available to Haase through her participation in the “Official Partner University of Elite Sports” program. “I more than recommend this program for competitive athletes - I think that without this program, it wouldn’t even work. At least for me, studying would be unimaginable,” reports Haase. Thanks to the program, the track and field athlete has not only the opportunity to adapt her exam schedule to her competition and training times, but she also benefits from the tutor provided to her. “The tutor communicates with the professors for me. She tells them what times I’m not going to be there and arranges scheduling issues with them, like for example postponing an exam or participating in a seminar in a later semester. That’s a huge relief for me, so I can concentrate completely on my sport while preparing for competitions.” Haase was referred to the program at the TU by the Olympiastützpunkt, a facility for high-performance sports in Chemnitz. “The network between the elite athlete program and the Olympiastützpunkt works really perfectly,” reports Haase. Thus, it was possible for the 22-year-old to take advantage of the program even from the beginning of her psychology studies.

Starting in the eleventh grade, the Zschopau native attended the sports high school in Chemnitz and therefore already had her fixed residence in the city. Aside from that, she has been working with her trainer for ten years and did not want to separate from him after finishing school. The decision to study at the TU Chemnitz allows Haase to enjoy the benefits of the elite athlete program today – and the track and field athlete is also completely satisfied with her university in all other regards. “My studies at the TU Chemnitz is excellently structured. I also think it’s really great of the TU to give competitive athletes like me the chance to study successfully. And that is even though it is impossible most of the time for me to be present in class.”

In the near future it also won’t be possible for the track and field athlete to sit in lectures. “This winter, the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics in Portland is on the agenda, for which I first have to qualify. But I’m especially looking forward to the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam and the Olympic Games in Rio in the next season.”

(Author: Sabrina Schäfer, Translation: Sarah Wilson)

Katharina Thehos

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