The Willibald Gebhardt Institute (WGI) is an International Institute of Research and Knowledge Transfer in the fields of Sport and Sport Sciences. It was established as a non-governmental and non-profit institution at the city of Essen (Germany) on May 5th 1992. According to the constitution of the WGI its purpose is to support human tasks and social targets of physical activities including health-related fitness and ethical-morale principles in sport activities. This purpose is linked with a holistic approach of education for a well-rounded individual, particularly for children and adolescents in their main settings of living and development:  in families, at schools, within sport clubs in the context of recreational and elite sports.

Aims and objectives of our work at WGI are connected with personal holistic education matters, physical education, school sports and healthy lifestyle support as an integral part of applied research and counselling, communication and cooperation with different partners and commissioners of public life, governmental bodies and sport federations on local, regional, national and international level. Networking on local level with sport clubs, with regional governments and regional sport confederations of North-Rhine Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Berlin are virulent likewise with Olympic bodies in Germany, the EU and worldwide.  The WGI is listed as an Olympic Study Centre with a focus on Olympic education by the IOC since the year 2011. Furthermore, the WGI is affiliated with the Univ. of Münster by contract (2018) as a so called “Affiliated Research Institute”. The WGI is an institutional member of some academic networks e.g. ICSSPE (since 1994), EUPEA (since 2015), and CEREPS a.s.bl. (since 2015).

A main area of work of the Willibald Gebhardt Institute is to design, to conduct, to analyse and to evaluate different items of research. We monitor projects and assist in intervention studies in different settings where children and adolescents live. Our work profile is related with development, counselling, and supporting our partners and customers in Germany and abroad.

Since March 2020, Dr. Heinz Aschebrock is President of the WGI. Prof. Dr. Michael Krüger and Dr. Dennis Dreiskämper serve as Deputy Presidents. The WGI is devided into four units of competences which are headed by four Vice-Presidents: Elite Sports (Prof. Dr. Eric Eils), Children and Youth Sport at Schools and Sport Clubs (Prof. Dr. Nils Neuber), HEPA (Dr. Dennis Dreiskämper) and Olympic Studies (Prof. Dr. Michael Krüger). As Vice-President of Financial Affairs Martin Gesigora was elected in 2018. All Vice-Presidents hold positions and/or professorships in their units of expertise at the Institute of Exercise and Sport Science at the Univ. of Münster.