North-Rhine-Westphalia Minister-President Hendrik Wüst (CDU) visited the BVB Learning Centre at SIGNAL IDUNA PARK on Wednesday as part of his summer tour. He was welcomed by managing director Carsten Cramer.

To kick things off, Cramer outlined Borussia Dortmund's social responsibility and spoke about the fact that aid deliveries to Ukraine were organised, a vaccination centre was set up during the pandemic and BVB played a charity game against Dynamo Kiev – all at the stadium. "This stadium is so powerful and so dynamic outside the 90 minutes that I am convinced that Borussia Dortmund are more than just a football club." 

Afterwards, they went directly to the Learning Centre under the famous Südtribüne, where an 8th grade class from the Robert Koch secondary school were waiting. Chairman of the Management Board, Hans-Joachim Watzke, sent his greetings to the Minister-President and the students via a video message, as he could not be on site himself for scheduling reasons. On Wednesday, the eighth graders were busy with the Learning Centre's "ZWEITzeugen im Fußball" workshop. Under the motto "Carrying on History", the workshop raises awareness among the children and youngsters regarding the effects of anti-Semitism and racism with the help of Holocaust survival stories, before the group work together to think about how they can contribute to a democratic society and humanitarian values. Three of the students then briefly presented some of the results to Minister-President Wüst.

Johannes Böing, head of the BVB Learning Centre, outlined nine of the current courses on offer, three of which were made possible thanks to funding from the state of North-Rhine-Westphalia. "For us, a visit like this creates a wide audience. That means greater appreciation. We can present the work we are doing," said Böing. The Learning Centre receives significantly funding and support from the BVB Foundation "leuchte auf", some of which was presented by Marieke Köhler, Head of Corporate Responsibility. The BVB Learning Centre is a flagship project for the foundation.

For a good cause

Lars Ricken, director of the Youth Performance Centre, and Matthias Röben, educational director, gave a talk on the Südtribüne about how Borussia Dortmund also take care of the young people who wear the Black and Yellow of BVB outside of football training. Lars Ricken stressed the importance of collaborating with schools and creating a structured process for the players: "As Borussia Dortmund, we have a social responsibility." Since staying grounded is vital, it was always clear to the people running the centre that it would not be appropriate to have the youth team players attend a private school run by the club, for example. Matthias Röben explained how BVB instead develop individual curricula in consultation with the local partner schools. The participants eagerly watched an educational project that BVB, together with the Dortmund Theatre, is putting on for the next few weeks.

"I am totally impressed by what is being done here in the stadium and at Borussia Dortmund – beyond the football pitch. The key themes of the day include tolerance, reducing aggression, ecology and much more. Some 3000 children have been able to learn all about this here under the motto 'Borussia verbindet' (Borussia connects). It is wonderful that the strong BVB brand and the enthusiasm for football is being used for this good cause," Hendrik Wüst said, summing up his visit. 

BVB-TV: Minister-President Wüst visits BVB