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GERMANY Regional Football: At the age of 27, the first woman to head the club

GERMANY Regional Football: At the age of 27, the first woman to head the club

GERMANY/Bremen/Wallinghausen : Lina Bünting has been in charge now of the district league team SV Wallinghausen since the end of February

After the election to chairman of East-Friesian football club SV Wallinghausen on February 26, Lina Bünting had to take a long breethe.
When the first one congratulated me and said that I was the first woman to chair our club, I started realizing that it was something special." There are 150 football clubs in East Friesland, with now Lina Bünting and four other Ladies in the top post (source: In addition to Bünting these are, Anne Thonicke (Tus Hinte), Annette Gerdes (TSV Holtrop), Gabriele
Engelhardt (WT Loppersum) and Stefanie Wellens (SV Burlage.

The football club SV Wallinghausen was founded in 1951 and was always managed by men until February 26 of this year, most recently by Jan Dirks. When you look at Lina Bünting's CV at her home club, the choice should hardly come as a surprise. I practically grew up on the soccer field in Wallinghausen," she laughs. And so it was no surprise that the members unanimously gave her their trust. Even as a child she was always on the sports field. Lina Bünting herself played for the Wallinghausen girls' and women's team, later coached the U-9 and U-7 youth teams and gained initial experience on the board as one of the members. "I've always enjoyed volunteering. When it was discussed whether I could imagine to take over, I had no doubts at all. We're a great team on the board," says Bünting, who is also a season ticket holder at SV Werder Bremen and even does stadium tours in the Weser Stadium as a part-time job. She had to think a bit about whether it was possible to manage from her new place of residence in Bremen (120km distance). The project manager (at Wind Turbine Manufacturer Enercon) has been living in the Hanseatic city for a good two years. "The Corona period has taught us that we can discuss many things digitally, too. At least once a week we exchange ideas on the board," says Bünting. But she still comes regularly to her beloved home Wallinghausen in East Friesland, attends board meetings and regularly attends the home games of the first men's team.

After all, the entire family is firmly connected to the traditional club SV Wallinghausen. Father Sven Bünting has been coaching the district league team for 17 years now, mother Heike takes care of the barbecue booth and sister Lara is either to be found serving drinks at the concession stand or sitting in the ticket booth. "The whole weekend planning has always been based on the game plan of the first team," says Bünting. So it was certainly not at all easy for father Sven to explain to the family and, above all, to the new chairwoman a few weeks ago that he would be retiring as a coach this summer. In the fall of last year, he made the decision to step back in the future. Daughter Lina was also involved in choosing Ewald Mühlenbrock as her father's successor. The young, new boss in
Wallinghausen is looking forward to being able to make a difference with her colleagues on the board. "I stand for open communication and am enthusiastic about working with different people on the board." She also wants to set a good example and place her trust in other, younger members of the Board. For example, Jannes Rich has become new member in charge of the youth players, who himself still plays for Wallinghausen in the U-19 youth team.

A new challenge for her is representing the club, be it to the district sports association, the football association or the local mayor. "It's all very exciting, but I can also count on the support of the more experienced club members," says Bünting, pleased about the support. While the DFB was not ready yet and with Bernd Neuendorf recently again elected a man at the top, it is the SV Wallinghausen already one step ahead. "If I was able to set even a tiny sign with it, I'm happy. It would be nice if other women were gradually elected to similar offices and I might not be the only woman at meetings so often.”

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