Interview with Peter Hennekes, Managing Director of the Natursport Academy, and Christine Hammer, Head of the Natursport Academy
The Natursport Akademie will be there for the first time with lectures at the CMT 2023 in Stuttgart. In an interview with Axel Recht, Peter Hennekes, Managing Director of the Natursport Akademie (NAka), and Christine Hammer, head of the Natursport Akademie, explain the reasons for this.
Nature sport in harmony with nature: The German Initiative Mountain Bike DIMB is one of the competence partners of the Natursport Akademie | Photo credit: Landesmesse Stuttgart GmbH
Mrs Hammer, Mr. Hennekes, how would you describe the most important goals of the Natursport Akademie?
Peter Hennekes: The Nature Sports Academy is the representation of the interests of nature sports teachers in the commercial, professional environment, which connects a network of associations, organizations, universities, ministries and authorities. On the one hand, our goals are to network seasonal offers in order to place nature sports as a year-round offer in the tourism market. On the other hand, to ensure the high quality standards in the education and training of all nature sports instructors in all disciplines.
Christine Hammer: In addition, we offer special training and further education in the field of “mediating sustainable nature sports”, which can be adapted to all disciplines. This also includes the respectful use of all resources in the field of nature and the environment as well as the “growing together in a team” for the development of seasonally bound nature sports schools into year-round companies. Together with our competence and strategy partners, we focus on sustainable action and together with our industrial partners, we will influence the continuous development of nature sport in harmony with nature and the environment.
With the slogan “Natural sport in harmony with nature”, they promote a rethink of how to convey and practice sustainable natural sports. What do you mean by this and how do you proceed in concrete terms?
Peter Hennekes: The NAka acts in accordance with the principle of practicing natural sports in harmony with nature while respecting and protecting nature. In addition, we are committed to working sustainably. Sustainability in the Natursport Academy follows the definition of the Enquete Commission in the German Bundestag with the three pillars: social, ecological and economic.
What do you see as the challenge here?
Christine Hammer: The challenge – both in the training courses and in the organization itself – is that all three pillars are lived and implemented at the current best possible state of knowledge.
Could you specify this?
Peter Hennekes: Social sustainability is considered the key to success. A fair and friendly interaction among colleagues, partners and customers creates a positive climate at courses, at events or in the company. Although digitization and new virtual possibilities play an increasingly important role today and NAka offers modern online formats and learning platforms, people are in the foreground at the Natursport Academy. According to the motto: People act with people.
Christine Hammer: Let me give you an example. In our newly introduced training as a trekking guide NAka, the topic of sustainability is “Natural sport in harmony with nature!” an integral part. In each six-day course, a day takes place exclusively on the subject of correct behavior in the individual natural areas as well as on the handling of fauna and flora. In addition, we are currently working on training and further education on the topic of “mediating sustainable nature sports”. All interested nature sports instructors can take this course online from the second quarter of 2023.
Peter Hennekes: In addition, the Munich University of Applied Sciences has created the university certificate “Sustainable Management” as a continuing education offer for future managers in cooperation with the Natursport Academy.
What does that mean?
Peter Hennekes: It allows all participants to acquire this certificate within four exciting modules. With the focus on corporate management, academic knowledge is thus imparted and the reference to practice is repeatedly established.
How do you deal with controversial plans of municipalities that want to promote tourism in the region, but often neglect nature conservation?
Christine Hammer: The networking of the Natursport Akademie extends into tourism. For example, NAka, together with Bayern Tourismus Marketing GmbH and representatives from the tourism and sports industry, has set out to develop a “sustainable roadmap” for Bavarian tourism. This is closely based on the 17 UN’s sustainability goals, the Sustainable Development Goals.
Peter Hennekes: In addition, we would like to support all nature sports providers and assist them with words and deeds. With our strategic partner, the International Alpine Protection Commission CIPRA Germany, we are able to correctly assess critical developments and show possible solutions at an early stage.
Which people belong to your target groups and what do you offer them?
Christine Hammer: The Natursport Academy has all members of our partner associations as a target group for training and further education, which we offer to the competence partners. For our own academy offers such as our trekking guide NAka, we see mountain sports enthusiasts. Of course, this should be suitable for this and have a strong desire to inspire other people and show them the numerous, positive facets of hiking.
How do you want to reach new interested parties?
Peter Hennekes: In order to inspire new interested parties, we use our network with around 139,000 members in the competence partner associations as well as the contacts with our strategy partners. As a platform, we have set up our homepage and our social media channels, with which we play the target groups appropriately.
Why does a holiday fair like CMT form the right platform for this?
Christine Hammer: At CMT, we have the opportunity to have a positive impact on interested people both in the B2B area and in the B2C sector, with suitable offers, information and novelties. We see a great opportunity in increasing the radius of those seriously interested in nature with each event and to sensitizing the people who are on the road in tourism.
Peter Hennekes: The Nature Sports Academy aims to “make the world a little better.” This means making the world a little better in an ecological context and respecting and protecting nature in such a way that nature sport remains possible for future generations.
What can visitors at CMT expect?
Christine Hammer: Insights into the topics of the Natursport Academy and its partners. Specifically, we will give an insight into the world of tour portals and sporting goods production in January.
Is this theory, i.e. lectures, or are there also practical tips or workshops in which the participants can actively participate?
Peter Hennekes: Basically, anything is possible. For the first step, lectures and interviews are planned as part of the supporting program at the fair. We will also hold a press conference on the first Sunday.
What is the Nature Sports Academy?
The Nature Sports Academy (NAka) represents the interests of nature sports teachers in a commercial, professional environment. It connects a network of associations, organizations, universities, ministries and authorities. It is based in the Zugspitz village of Grainau in the district of Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Nature sport in harmony with nature. Joint activities in nature as well as their respect and protection is the basis of all activities in the Natursport Academy. She wants to teach people sustainable ecological behavior with her training system. The aim is to make the world a little better in this context and to respect and protect nature in such a way that nature sport remains possible for future generations.
Clear commitment to the United Nations CO2 targets
NAka would like to support all service providers who have their livelihoods in nature sports on their way to more sustainability with appropriate knowledge and professional partnerships in the field of ecological sustainability. The objective for responsible companies is a consistently sustainable use of all resources over 365 days a year.
Social and environmental sustainability as a basis
Economically successful and authentic companies in nature sports focus on all dimensions of sustainability and organize their activities and offers as much as possible all year round. With over 139,000 nature sports teachers and hundreds of nature sports companies, the network of the Natursport Akademie not only offers a huge wealth of experience, but also the possibility of networking companies with each other. With the Munich University of Applied Sciences as NAka’s strategic partner in the field of sustainability and entrepreneurship, important economic impulses are provided for existing nature sports companies and nature sports teachers.
The competence partners of NAka: German Ski Instructors Association DSLV, German Initiative Mountain Bike DIMB e.V., Association of German Water Sports Schools e.V. (VDWS), Association of German Mountaineering Schools e.V. (VDB) and Association of German Police Mountain and Ski Guides (VdPBS)
The strategy partners: TU Munich, Munich University of Applied Sciences, Alpine Protection Commission CIPRA Germany e.V.
The industrial partners: Sympatex, Outdooractive and Messe Stuttgart (from 1. January 2023)
Further information at https://www.natursportakademie.de/
Nature sports in harmony with nature: The German Ski Instructors Association DSLV is one of the competence partners of the Natursport Akademie | Photo credit: Landesmesse Stuttgart GmbH