“They were two awesome days that included an interesting look behind the scenes,” said Eva Lys when summing up her impressions. “Many of us were surprised just how big everything is.”. For Barbara Rittner, the visit to the Porsche site in Leipzig was an important element within the programme to foster talented youngsters and the collaboration with the sports car manufacturer. “For us, it’s important our players are given the chance to enjoy exceptional experiences as a team in addition to the ones when practicing,” said the Deutsche Tennis Bund’s (DTB – German Tennis Association) head coach who accompanied Eva Lys, Nastasja Schunk, Julia Middendorf, Mara Guth, Noma Noha Akugue, Ella Seidel and Joelle Steur on their trip to the city in eastern Germany.
The attractive visitor programme’s first highlight was a thrilling excursion to the limits of physics. Driven around the Porsche Experience Center’s own track in the passenger seat of a Porsche 911 GT3, the tennis talents were given a lasting impression of the acceleration, centrifugal forces and braking of high-performance cars manufactured by Porsche. Not only Eva Lys, who only recently made a successful Porsche Team Germany debut when winning the first rubber in the Billie Jean King Cup tie against Croatia, was visibly amazed. “I’m an adrenalin junkie so it was really cool,” she said after the special driving experience. The first to pluck up the courage and sit beside the experienced Porsche instructor, Noma Noha Akugue did not want to get out. “It was fun, fun, fun. It’s not something you experience every day.”
The German Tennis Association’s team was given an interesting insight into the Leipzig factory’s 20-year history and the vehicles manufactured at the Porsche site during a tour around the facility. For Eva Lys, it was “fascinating being given the chance to look behind the scenes at our sponsor and to see the incredible logistics involved in manufacturing cars. It’s a wonderful experience for us players.” The reigning German champion was deeply impressed by not only the many cars but also by the Leipzig hosts: “I’m so amazed by it all. The people we met there exude not only professionalism but also pleasure in their work.”
The Porsche team’s up-and-coming youngsters also found out about the organisational and training structure at RB Leipzig. In addition to a tour around the academy and the junior center at the football club, which partners Porsche in its programme to foster young talents, they tested the innovative SoccerBot360 simulator together with the women’s first team. There was also a lively discussion amongst the players and the coaching staff about the differences between individual and team sport. Other topics were how each sport trains and where the main focuses lie.
For Barbara Rittner, the trip to Leipzig met all the expectations. “I saw the players’ faces. For them, the days at Porsche were a wonderful experience,” said the head coach before continuing, “Even though I’ve visited Porsche on several occasions, I’m always deeply impressed by the brand’s fascination, and I’m so proud of our partnership.”