April 28 saw the return of the annual Sauerkraut Cup. 28 teams from 14 different German departments across the country competed for the trophy. This year’s winners were Bristol.
The Leeds University German Society was proud to host the 2012 Sauerkraut Cup, a national competition established in 2004 to combine Germany's favourite sport and the German language. It is an annual football tournament contested by Universities from across the UK.
The event took place at the Leeds University Weetwood playing fields, kindly paid for by the German embassy London. It was organised by Mandy Poetzsch (DAAD-Lektorin) and Helena Drawert (DAAD-Sprachassistentin) with the help of the German Society, notably Simon Falk, Sam Mathie, Kanchan Pal and Hessie Coleman.
Beneath the banner "EM 1972" - a reference to the 40th anniversary of West Germany's victory in the 1972 European Championship - 28 teams from 14 different Higher Education Institutes braved the rain to compete for the trophy and the traditional jar of Sauerkraut.
After the initial group stage, from which the best two teams from each of the 8 groups progressed to the knockout stage, the competition saw some very intense, passionate football.
Although none of Leeds' teams made it to the final round, which dampened the hosts' spirits somewhat more than the rain already had, we still witnessed a very exciting game which was eventually decided by penalties: Belgium (Bristol) versus BRD (Sheffield) with Belgium winning the final and the Cup - the first time that a University from the South West has lifted the trophy.
Other trophies were awarded to:
San Marino (the Alumni from Sheffield University) for Best Alumni Team;
France (Newcastle University) for their fan support. They might not have played their best football, but their supporters were stars off the pitch for cheering them on with banners, posters, songs and little moustaches;
And the French referee (a Newcastle University student) as Best Referee.
This day would not have been possible without the help of Dr. Catriona Firth, Dr. Giles Harrington and Thomas Jochum-Critchley (ÖAD-Lektor) as well as members of the German Society on the day, nor without the generous support of the German Embassy London, the DAAD - the German Academic Exchange Service, the Goethe Institut and Haribo.