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German Exchange

Broomfield FC & DJK Sparta Werlte Annual Exchange Visit.


In 1979 a short article was published in a local weekly newspaper with a request seeking a locally based junior football team to become involved with DJK Sparta Werlte, a small village football club near Bremen in north-west Germany, on an exchange basis. Officials of Broomfield Junior Football Club near Chelmsford saw the article and got in touch with their German counterparts. Following preliminary visits both to Werlte and to Broomfield by the officials of both clubs, arrangements were made for two teams of young German footballers to visit England in July 1980 and the Annual Exchange between the two clubs was started.

The following year two teams of youngsters from Broomfield visited Werlte for the first time, and so began the annual pattern of alternate exchange visits between the clubs that continues to this day. From these beginnings a wonderful friendship between the two clubs, their officials, players and many families within the respective local communities has been built up. The players that take part in the exchange are all aged between 11 and 14 years and both clubs ensure that are all are able to stay with local families when they make their exchange visit and enjoy a taste of what life is like in each other’s community.

Since its inception in 1980 the Exchange has gone on to become an outstanding success with over 3000 young footballers having made the trip to or from Germany. It is now firmly established in the calendar as one of the highlights of the year in both communities. Along the way there have been many happy memories, lots of smiling faces, thousands of laughs, and even a few tears.

In 2019 the 40th annual exchange between the two clubs took place when nearly 100 young players, parents and officials visited Wertle for another highly successful week of football, friendship and fun. The occasion was marked by a special presentation to both clubs from Wilfred Luebs, the founder of the exchange plus the President of the Regional Sports Association and the Vice President of the German Football Federation!