Originally, Katharina Oltermann from Pattensen in Lower Saxony wanted to study and play football in the USA. That is why I contacted an agency that has been escorting more than 3000 athletes on their way to a sports scholarship in the USA since 2008.
But in the case of Katharina Olterman, everything turned out a little differently. The USA became Canada: Shortly before she wanted to be accepted into a university in the USA, Oeltermann received an offer from Olds College in Canada. This is located in the province of Alberta, about 90 kilometers north of the city of Calgary. So in the middle of the flat ground, in the prairie, but at least with the Rocky Mountains in view. Why did women from Lower Saxony choose to attend Olds College in Canada? “Because it somehow reminds me of my hometown of Pattensen,” says Katharina Olterman. “I had a good feeling.”
Olds College women football call themselves “Broncos” according to the rural setting and are based in the Alberta College Athletic Conference (ACAC League). The Broncos always play a good role there. In 2019/2020, Katharina Olterman made it to the All Conference team as captain, as one of the Three Broncos. Seven very impressive goals for a defender.
Last season, the 22-year-old defender scored seven goals and assisted two goals with a height of 1.78 metres. Oeltermann became an integral part of the “Broncos” team after having to really bite into the start of two and a half years. It wasn’t always easy to get started, and injuries rattled the talent: “It was good when I got here. Once we started training, twice a day seven days a week, it got really bad,” she says. Because that was totally unusual.
“Football in Canada is very physical compared to our game in Germany, but technically it’s good”
She also had to get used to the climate. Especially in the winter: “From where I come from, it is not so cold, and above all, it is not so early in the year. Frost in September, sometimes snow. Then we first had to clean our playground. Sometimes it was very hard adapt to it, but I’m used to it.”
Another new thing is the fact that football is not Canada’s number one sport. “Europe is so crazy about football and everyone loves football, that’s so cool. In Canada, on the other hand, everyone is passionate about hockey, that is, ice hockey,” explains Oltermann. “But you can feel the development. Girls’ and women’s football is gaining importance. By the way, the national anthem is played before every game.” In general, one could say, “Football is very physical compared to our game in Germany, but technically it is very good.”
Katharina really liked it in Canada. Numerous tours at leisure. The Rocky Mountains on the horizon at the doorstep. It was only a stone’s throw from Banff Jasper National Park with its attractions like Lake Louise and Columbia Icefield in Canadian dimensions. “In addition, the language is improving and maturing as a character.” Katharina Olterman even considered staying longer in order to advance her degree in sports marketing to a bachelor’s degree. However, that did not work out and has to be compensated in Germany since the fall.
Until then, a lot of exercise will be done at home. “I want to be really fit in order to pass admission to the Mathematical University of Cologne.” Katrina also works with her father in the pool. Fred Oltermann is the managing director there at Pattensen.
The heart is based on TSV Bemerode
Next is licensing as a lifeguard. By the way, Papa Oeltermann is also the assistant coach of football players at TSV Bemerode. The fourth division is already fully training for the new season in the Lower Saxony Oberliga, season B, the fourth-highest division. Katharina, one of six children, began playing at the age of six, because the two older brothers also did. At first he went to the TSV Pattensen boys’ team, and later to the girls’ team. Then to U17 from TSG Ahlten, and from there to TSV Bemerode and for a year to “test” in the TSV Limmer regional league in Hannover. “But my heart is in Bemerode. We want to at least keep the class in the new season.”
Katharina Oltermann also has a future career idea in the back of her mind. “I would like to start my own company someday, work with children in third world countries, give them the opportunity to play sports and support that with education. So, kind of a development aid, maybe in Africa.”