A House Full of Talents
The Audi Sportakademie is the first address in the region for promotion of talent in sport. ERC Ingolstadt, FC Ingolstadt and their partner Audi are taking a modern road to make the young talent fit for top sports: Since early 2014, six ice hockey and twelve soccer talents have been living door to door on 840 square metres in the sports park.
The Audi Sportakademie offers teens between 14 and 18 years of age an environment that couldn't be better for young athletes. The talents are given a second home with "integrated support", as manager and pedagogic head Nicola Knabl says. The teens will find spare time offers on site, as well as a cuisine suitable for athletes, community and privacy alike. Their school training is taken care of in the Schulzentrum Südwest. The talents' athletic development is supported by the young trainers of the ERC in the Saturn Arena.
Christian Schneider from the town of Waldkraiburg moved in September 2014 and stayed for three years. He says: "I like it a lot here in Ingolstadt. You learn to be independent and you can focus on school and sport entirely." The ERC player is goalkeeper of the U19 and has named the DEL as his first goal. Once or twice a week, he already has practiced several times with the pro team.
The Audi Sportakademie, the ERC's managing director Claus Gröbner emphasizes, is an essential part of the "Ingolstadt way" of the association, which is to interlock mass and top sports and introduce young talents to professional sports with the cooperation partners EV Landshut and EV Regensburg.
The sport academy is organised as a charitable GmbH. Shareholders are the FCI and ERCI at equal shares. Audi secured the name rights for ten years. Audi-representative Peter Bednarczyk emphasized that his company has been supporting both associations for years and places great value on sustainable promotion of young talent.