Up to now, cricket has been very much a niche sport in Germany. But that is changing. In Bremen, a woman is calling the shots in this male-dominated sport – with great success. Her men’s team are the 2016 German cricket champions.
For ‘her boys’ Nisar Tahir is like a mother. She is always ready to listen. “Everyone respects me,” says the 47-year-old, whose roots are in Pakistan. She takes a real maternal pride in her boys. And with good reason. The men’s cricket team of SG Findorff in Bremen are the current German champions, and they also count the player of the year among their ranks. That’s all thanks to Nisar Tahir. Without her, there wouldn’t even be any team cricket in Bremen. She set up the section a few years ago and remains in charge of it. That makes this vivacious woman an exception within the male-dominated sport in Germany.
For most Germans cricket is a bit of a mystery, to say the least. Nevertheless, the sport is currently experiencing a huge boom in the country. Five years ago the German Cricket Board (DCB) consisted of 1,500 players in 70 teams nationwide, now there are more than 4,000 players in over 200 teams. This is due to the refugees and immigrants. Cricket is not just popular in England, but also in countries belonging to the Commonwealth of Nations, such as India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – as well as in Afghanistan.
Nisar Tahir remembers cricket from back home. The sport has always been very important to her. “In Pakistan cricket is on TV day and night,” she says. As a child she even used to have a go at bowling and batting herself, before coming to Bremen with her family aged eleven. In her new home other sports took priority; her daughters play tennis. Her husband Muhammad, also originally from Pakistan, has always been a cricket fan as well, and likes to watch matches on TV even in Bremen. “Our daughters would sit and watch, and eventually they asked: Where can we play that?” For Nisar Tahir that was the push to start setting up cricket in Bremen.
Nisar Tahir, who works as a chiropodist, got her trainer’s licence from the regional sports federation and organised a cricket group at her daughters’ school in Findorff. “Now my daughters are not just playing tennis, but cricket as well,” she says with a laugh. But she was keen to inspire more people with her love for the game. SG Findorff eventually let her set up a cricket section in 2013. “They wanted something special,” says Nisar Tahir, who trains the women and girls, and also plays on the women’s team herself. The men’s team, led by Iftikhar Khan, consists entirely of players whose origins are in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Some of them have to travel long distances in order to be able to train in Bremen, as they are working or studying in Oldenburg or Vechta.
Hamid Wardak also travels a long way for training; he lives in Bremerhaven with his wife and young son. The 29-year-old is not only German champion as part of the SG Findorff team, he is also the 2016 player of the year, because the public found his performance particularly impressive. That’s not entirely surprising, as he used to be a professional player in Pakistan and Afghanistan. As a child he fled to Pakistan with his family to escape the civil war in Afghanistan. “Everyone there loves cricket,” he recalls.
As a successful sportsman he earned good money in Pakistan. But he disapproved of the corruption within the cricket board. Disappointed, he left Pakistan about six years ago, following his German wife to Bremerhaven. “I wanted a better future,” Hamid Wardak explains in perfect German. “I am grateful for the opportunity I have here to achieve whatever I want.” He completed a vocational training course in IT administration, and also works as an interpreter for the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. “Cricket is just a hobby for me now,” he says. A very time-consuming hobby though, as Hamid Wardak is also a member of the German national team.
For players from Pakistan and Afghanistan cricket is a reminder of home, according to Nisar Tahir. That is especially true for the unaccompanied refugee minors who joined SG Findorff on her initiative. When the influx of refugees was at its peak, she deliberately went to the shelters and asked if anyone would like to train with the club. There was a lot of interest. “To start with, I used to pick them up and then take them back afterwards,” says Nisar Tahir. “They were really excited.” Three of the refugees she recruited are now in the men’s team that won the 2016 German Championships.
Nisar Tahir regards this as a big success. It has always been important to her that ‘her’ refugees also used the training to integrate. “We speak German here,” she says with determination. She is also keen to impart rules of German behaviour, insisting that everyone shakes hands and looks each other in the eye as they arrive and leave. She has also taught some of them to cook. One of her charges has just qualified for his instructor’s licence. “I am very proud of that,” she says. After all, cricket is booming and trainers are much in demand.
For more information visit http://cricket.sg-findorff.de/
Press contact: SG Findorff, Cricket Abteilung, Nisar Tahir, tel: +49 (0)176 6382 2432, Cricket@sg-findorff.de
Companies wishing to access the European market should be careful about their choice of location. Brexit could result in significantly higher financial and tax burdens for UK-based companies. Under these circumstances, setting up a base on the continent might be a better option. Find out what challenges companies will be facing.
Keen to remain in Bremen? Then why not combine residency status with self-employment? Manuel Kühn from Bremeninvest’s welcome service knows all about how a start-up could allow British citizens to beat Brexit and kill two birds with one stone.
Fiona Moore is originally from Burton-on-Trent, near Birmingham, and now works as a freelance translator in Bremen. She fell in love with Bremen in her early twenties. That was back in 2000, but 17 years later she is still as enchanted by the city as she was on the first day. She tells us about settling in Bremen, about her family and about being fortunate to have found a home in here.
Photography studios, workshops and professional kitchens are rarely fully occupied round the clock. So why not let others share them? The german start-up Craftspace brings together providers of production spaces with entrepreneurs, small business owners and artists on a single online platform. It’s an arrangement that benefits everyone.
It’s an adventure playground for kids, an idyllic sanctuary for couples, and a quiet retreat for those looking to escape from stress – from joggers and Nordic walkers to lovers of nature and culture, the Bürgerpark in the centre of Bremen has something for everyone. For the last 150 years, this protected heritage site in the centre of Bremen has relied solely on the support of donations to keep it open and well-maintained.
A great deal of manual labour goes into aircraft construction. Despite this – or perhaps even because of it – Airbus is changing its approach to make increased use of digital technologies. It’s also researching the applications of new manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing. And not a moment too soon, as Airbus’ site manager in Bremen, Dr André Walter, explains in our interview.
GeoSea, a subsidiary of the Belgian DEME group, is helping to construct of some of the largest offshore wind farms in the German North Sea – and in Bremen, the company has found the ideal location to carry out its work.
Art, design and people with disabilities make up the fascinating focus of the work of two young designers from Bremen. Working together with employees from community-based workshops, they develop and improve on designs for handmade products – and are continually thrilled by the potential they see in their co-designers.
Environmentally friendly manufacturing and ethical standards are the principles on which the fair trade clothing sector is based. Leela Cotton, a successful German-Turkish textile company, produces clothes for children and adults that are not only stylish, but also make a positive contribution to the environment in the way they are manufactured.
Why have so many IT companies chosen to establish themselves in Bremen? We asked five key business figures and researchers from various organisations to tell us what makes the city such an attractive location for the IT sector.
3D imaging with millimetre accuracy for underwater industrial activities and deep sea exploration – company founder Jakob Schwendner has a very clear goal. The first prototype of a camera with brand new sensor technology was built in Canada and presented to industry professionals at the Ocean Business conference in Southampton, United Kingdom, in April.
The Bremen Hansalinie Industrial Estate is a successful business park that is currently undergoing expansion. Several major logistics companies have based themselves here, developing increasingly sophisticated processes that aim to optimise just-in-sequence production for the automotive industry.
Of all the states in Germany, Bremen has the highest density of major research institutions in relation to its population – a fact that also benefits those who study there. It offers a range of international education opportunities for prospective academics with strong practical relevance and research activities that span a diverse range of fields.
Weatherproof displays for transport services, and screens that don’t produce glare in bright sunlight – these are just some of the devices provided by AlfaNet Computer und Electronic Handels GmbH, a Bremen-based company founded nearly 25 years ago by Thomas Lie.
They came, they saw, they marvelled – Chinese business people in Bremen visited the Mercedes-Benz plant and were surprised to find that an automotive manufacturer with a vast robot workforce was also Bremen’s largest employer, with just under 13,000 (human) employees. But where do they all work?
Three continents, four countries, and Bremen at the centre of it all – a start-up could hardly be more international. The young entrepreneurs Ahmed Cheema and Stefan Kuzmanovski want to make sustainable manufacturing and the use of ethically sourced materials standard practice.
Bremen: Down-to-earth, yet always ready to surprise you. An attractive place to live, a city through which we can move easily and without stress – on foot along the river Weser, on two wheels through the many parks, or by tram through the city centre. People from different cities and countries tell us why they fell in love with Bremen and have made their lives here.
Lighter, more bespoke and more intricate: for companies open to new ideas in manufacturing and construction, metal parts produced by 3D printers present an economic alternative to conventional die cutting, rolling and milling. Leading the way is Materialise, a company with its own metal printing plant in Bremen.
Bremen has been twinned with the city of Dalian in north-eastern China since 1985. Find out more about the similarities and connections that the two port cities share.
Wearables and smart glasses provide hands-free digital information. A visit at the headquarter of the global market leader for Industrial Wearable Computing, Ubimax in Bremen.
In 2016, companies invested a combined total of €229 million in the federal state of Bremen. Where do these investors hail from, how many jobs have they created, and what is their line of business? Our infographics provide an overview.
How will the UK’s impending exit from the EU affect the logistics sector? Günther Hörbst, Managing Director of the Via Bremen Foundation, on the economic links between the United Kingdom and the EU
The Chinese designer Haoyu Li combines his German design degree with Chinese business acumen. Now he is opening a design office in Bremen, with the aim of making it easier for Chinese products to enter the German market, and to bring German brands to China.
The colours of the local football team are not the only thing that's green about Bremen, as you'll see when you take a stroll around its parks and open spaces. A look at the statistics shows that Bremen is not only Germany's tenth-largest city, it is also its third-greenest, offering plenty of space to enjoy nature.
The high standard of logistical expertise in the state of Bremen functioned as a key to open doors, making this a successful year for Bremen. 2016’s successes were marked by automobiles and steel, welcoming ambitious international companies.
From initial idea to successful move. Andreas Gerber, who heads up the international relocation team at Bremeninvest, knows what international companies need to do to set up a business in Bremen. Here he tells us about the most important steps on the ...
Hard facts take top priority when it comes to the choice of location for international or domestic businesses. But the faster we feel comfortable outside the workplace in the everyday routines and culture of a foreign country, the sooner we feel at home. In addition to trade, science – and of course its port, Bremen has plenty to offer when it comes to quality of life.
BLG LOGISTICS GROUP AG & Co. KG’s AutoTerminal in Bremerhaven is a record-breaking automotive hub. Every year, the terminal handles some 2.3 million vehicles. But that’s not all.
Going it alone is rarely an easy option. Co-working enables entrepreneurs to work in a shared space and experience the benefits and synergies that come with this. There are nine co-working spaces in Bremen – which one is right for you?
Permits and authorisations, a mountain of applications and a language barrier too. These are just some of the difficulties you face when starting a business abroad. Luckily, an advice centre opened in Bremen in early 2015 that can help you through the jungle: Bremeninvest’s welcome service.
Geographical distance and cultural differences make it hard to relocate or start up a company in another country. Luckily, help is at hand from the team at the World Trade Center (WTC) in Bremen. They'll do all they can to make your international business a success.
In December 2016 ministers from the European Space Agency (ESA) member states met to determine the roadmap for the European space sector for the years ahead. Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Bremen submitted joint recommendations. In the following interview Dr Peter Vits, Bremen's State Coordinator for the Space Sector, talks about Bremen's strengths and opportunities.
The sky is not the limit, at least not in Bremen. All parts of the aerospace sector are represented in the city, from R&D to production. Aeroplane wings, Ariane rockets and Galileo satellites – Bremen is one of the leading locations in the international aerospace industry. Here are five factors behind Bremen’s story of success.
In 2015 Bremen won the right to host the International Astronautical Congress for the second time, after having successfully held the event in 2003. Its bid was the result of a collaboration between the Bremen regional government and Bremen’s space industry and space research sector. Event partners include the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the German Aerospace Centre.
The Bremen region has long been a pioneer in electric mobility and is now set to enjoy further success after Mercedes-Benz and Borgward announced that they will be making electric vehicles in the city.
Bremen knows how to make cars: the Mercedes-Benz plant by the Weser river has been in operation for almost 40 years, is the focal point of the city’s automotive industry and automotive clusters, and is now the company’s biggest global facility in terms of vehicle production numbers. Reason enough for an ever-growing number of suppliers and logistics firms to base themselves in Bremen.
Sometimes you have to learn from other people's mistakes and trust your instincts. That is what Muhammad-Farhan Aslam believed when he took over his father's business. Not only did he change the business model, but he also shelved his own plans to move to England. Instead he stayed in Bremen. And it turned out to be one of many good decisions that he made.
For 30 years, the Cargo Distribution Centre in Bremen has delivered excellence – as an investment location and a logistics hub. Today more than 150 companies employing approximately 8,000 people are based at the site. It offers direct links to the ports, the autobahn and has a close proximity to Bremen City Airport.
Language barriers, unfamiliar legal and fiscal systems, qualifications that need to be recognised. There are many additional hurdles that entrepreneurs have to overcome when setting up a new branch or a new company in a different country. Bremeninvest is committed to offering you advice and support from the outset.
You might expect a Bremen-based company specialising in innovative instruments and implants for spinal surgery to be located at the Technology Park. But you'd be wrong. NuVasive Germany GmbH has its head office at the heart of the city centre next to Wallanlagen Park. Now employing a team of 44 people, the company generates annual revenue of more than €10 million – a figure that looks set to rise.
David Zhou came to Bremen three years ago with the aim of conquering the market – and a new continent – with LEDs. He started his business selling LED lighting and electronics at the World Trade Centre at Bremen Airport and has gradually built it up over the past few years.