Field hockey elite meet in Germany for Beijing warm-up

Netherlands, Argentina, Germany, Australia, China and Japan will meet in the women's field hockey Champions Trophy starting in Mönchengladbach on Saturday, the last major international tournament before the Beijing Olympics in August.

Australia have won six Champions Trophys and the Netherlands five of the 15 played, with Germany, Argentina, Korea and China sharing the other four. Top-ranked Netherlands is unlikely to add to their tally of wins as they have nine players with less than 10 international matches at this tournament.

Nine top Dutch players are turning out for the Den Bosch and Amsterdam clubs contesting the Dutch premier league final next weekend. Dutch coach Marc Lammers said he would settle for third place.

“We do not have our strongest team here but it is good enough to play nice games. With this team the best result for us is to be third. I don’t think we will be in the final with this team,” Lammers said.

Germany coach Michael Behrmann underscored the importance of this tournament as preparation for Beijing.

“This tournament is a very important step towards selection for this squad of 18 players and there are three more still under consideration,” Behrmann said.

Behrmann favours Australia to win the tournament and shatter the precedent which has seen the winner of the 2000 and 2004 Champions Trophy failing to win the following Olympic Games.

“If I believed that myth we would not bother to go to Beijing if we win this tournament,” Behrmann said.

Australia coach Frank Murray disagreed that his team are favourites and has brought 19 players to Moenchengladbach; 16 will go to Beijing. “The pressure on the players for selection and maybe all the pressure distracts them from playing better,” he said.

Seung-Jin Yoo, Japan’s coach, has a plan to deal with Argentina and Germany as they are all in the same pool at Beijing.

“We will play 80 percent against those teams and keep 20 percent hidden from them,” Yoo said.

The first matches of the Champions Trophy on Saturday see Australia play Japan; Netherlands take on Germany and China face Argentina.


Five events not to miss in Germany this weekend

Whether it’s film festivals, vintage fairs or Oktoberfest parties, there’s lots going on in Germany this weekend, September 27th-29th.

Five events not to miss in Germany this weekend
Further climate strikes are taken place in Germany across the weekend. Photo: DPA

Down Under Berlin Australian and New Zealand Film Festival 

Down Under Berlin Film Festival has been a vital hub for enthusiasts of Australian and New Zealand cinema and culture since 2011.

From September 26th-29th, the 9th Down Under Berlin Film Festival will be taking place in the capital. This year’s motto is “EmBrace Yourself”, which nods to this year’s films particular focus on humanitarian concepts. 

A collection of films focus on experiences with mental illness, with others telling stories of indigenous or refugee issues, offering contemporary takes on identity, family and social landscapes. Stories range from coming-of-age to parenthood to elder care.

Across the weekend, as well as film screenings, attendees will be treated to Q&As with those behind this year’s diverse lineup of films, which ranges from independent productions to blockbusters, from student and professional short films to inspiring documentaries.

Climate Strikes Across Germany

The global climate strike is taking place from September 20-27th and this weekend Germany is hosting four climate strikes, where protesters will gather to demand that action is taken to address climate change. 

You can catch these demonstrations throughout Germany, whether Essen in North Rhine-Westphalia, or Stuttgart in Baden-Württemberg. 

If you would like to attend one of these events, but don’t live in striking distance of one, travel company Flixbus can offer you a helping hand. In support of the movement, Flixbus will reward those travelling to the strikes by offering a voucher for 100% of their next bus trip.

Premiere: Contractions

The ACUD Theater in Berlin's Mitte district is premiering Contractions, an independent play which will run every night until Sunday, September 29th.

The performance is put on by a group of immigrants in Berlin from Australia, Peru, Great Britain, the US and Austria who aim to push boundaries in theatre in order to excite and challenge their audience. 

The central theme in Contractions is privacy (or lack thereof) in the age of social media and online data. Themes of surveillance, loss of love and identity, manipulation and devotion to the money gods nod to George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four despite the play’s modern day setting.

The play is performed in English and targets native English speakers in Berlin. All performances begin at 8 pm and run for 60 minutes with no intermission.

Eschweiler Wiesn 2019

If you cannot make it to Bavaria in time for Oktoberfest, Eschweiler in North Rhine-Westphalia may have the answer. 

This weekend, on September 27th and 28th, the region is hosting a three day Wiesn (the local word for Oktoberfest celebration) with enough beer and dirndls to make you feel like you’re in Munich itself. 

As well as traditional music, the festival will also be hosting a number of contemporary artists such as German Pop Idol alum Anna Maria Zimmerman, schlager (a type of German-language pop music) stars Ina Colada and Almklausi, and rock bands from Cologne Kasalla and Miljö. 

Two day tickets are available, as well as single day tickets for both Friday and Saturday.


VinoKilo Vintage Fair

VinoKilo, a social enterprise offering a wide range of second-hand yet high quality vintage clothes and accessories, is bringing its Vintage Fair to two cities in Germany this weekend. 

Karlruhe on Saturday, September 28th, and Heidelberg on Sunday, September 29th, will be hosting Germany's biggest pop-up event for second hand clothes, with clothes being sold at €35 per kilo. That’s right, they’re priced per kilo. 

There are a limited number of free tickets available online for the events, which will be running all day. Entry on the door is €3, with both cash and card being accepted.

As well as vintage vibes, VinoKilo will bring attendees atmospheric music as they shop and a chill zone to unwind and admire their new buys.