Together we achieve a TURNING POINT with sailing activity

Sailing: Everyone on board is equal
– disadvantages stay behind on land

Sailing is a team sport. Everyone in the team has their task, and every hand counts – it is the interplay of nature, technology and people. That is why sailing is perfect for the inclusion of those with physical or mental disabilities and impairments, but also for the integration of socially disadvantaged people.

With our commitment to inclusive sailing, we at TURNING POINT Foundation want to help young people from disadvantaged groups amongst the population to have life-changing experiences.

We know from practice that the positive experiences of sailing strengthen confidence in one’s own abilities and help people master the challenges of everyday life with more self-confidence. Often enough, this constitutes a turning point in life. You can find out more about this in our Mission Statement.

„During my sailing projects, I was able to observe how young people from a wide range of social groups gained more confidence through sailing. They have also developed very positively in their everyday lives as a result. With TURNING POINT, I want to make this possible for many more people from disadvantaged groups.“

Heinz-Peter Schmidt, founder
Fünf Personen sind neben einem schwimmenden Schiff in einem Hafen auf dem Steg. Sie halten eine große Fahne vor sich auf dem in großen dunkelblauen Buchstaben TURNING POINT Stiftung steht und das Logo eben dieser zu sehen ist: drei abstrakte Segelschiffe diagonal gestaffelt in blau, grün und rot. Unter dem vorderen Boot ist ein blauer Pfeil zu sehen der sich im Kreis dreht. Vier Personen stehen eine sitzt im Rollstuhl. Alle tragen eine Schwimmweste und grinsen in die Kamera.

TURNING COURSES: Inclusive sailing in more ways than one

We organise our own sailing courses for disadvantaged people and those with disabilities or impairments. It’s about „sailing along“ in existing sailing clubs.

All participants with and without disabilities or impairments sail together, share successes, solve challenges and experience that they are all in the same boat.

This means inclusion and leads to experience-based turning points in life – often enough, even for fully integrated people without disabilities or impairments.

Zu sehen ist ein Segelschiff segelnd auf dem Wasser von der Seite. Auf dem Schiffsrumpf steht in großen blauen Buchstaben TURNING POINT und es ist das Logo der TURNING POINT Stiftung zu sehen. Vier Personen sitzen im Cockpit, drei von ihnen tragen knallige orange Schwimmwesten. An Deck sitzt ein älterer Herr in Shorts, T-Shirt und einer Automatischen Schwimmweste. Danaben sitz ein Junge in knalliger oranger Schwimmweste. Beide schauen in die Kamera, der Junge streckt einen gehobenen Daumen in Richtung Kamera. Aufgenommen wurde das Bild bei einem Wendekurs in Prien bei dem es um Inklusion im Segelsport geht.
Auf dem Bild sitzen im Vordergrund zwei in unsere Richtung sitzende Personen an einem Tisch mit einer blauen Wachstischdecke. Links ein männlich gelesenes Kind in neongrün/gelbem T-Shirt und einer beige karierten Schirmmütze. Er hat einen grünen Kugelschreiber in der Hand und schreibt auf einem auf dem Tisch liegendem Papier von dem bereits eine Seite an der Ecke umgeschlagen ist. Rechts sitz eine Frau von der TURNING POINT Stiftung mit weißem Poloshirt und einer weißen Visor Cap, darauf hat sie eine blau verspiegelte Sonnenbrille gesteckt. Sie schaut dem Jungen über die Schulter. Vor ihr steht eine Trinkflasche mit Hellgrüner Kappe. Im Hintergrund ist eine Bootshalle und Masten von Schiffen zu sehen und blauer Himmel.

That is why we support the opening and expansion of barrier-free facilities and boats, as well as the systematic training of coaching and support staff.

The intention is that the sailing clubs and their trained coaches then carry out as many „TURNING Courses“ as possible for young people from disadvantaged population groups.

Through intensive public relations work, we at TURNING POINT intend to further expand the level of awareness of these activities and opportunities.

Our projects: Ready to cast off

The TURNING POINT Foundation is not a speedy solo sailor, but a spanking new frigate that first has to pick up speed. The team is there, the target is in sight, the anchor is weighed. The first projects are being implemented, and many more are in planning.

Please feel free to visit our site from time to time, or give us your email address so that we can provide you with the latest news on a regular basis.

Ein Segelschiff liegt ohne gesetzte Segel im Hafen an einem Platz am Steg. Auf dem Schiff sitzen drei Kinder mit knalligen orangen Schwimmwesten, alle lächeln in die Kamera und strecken einen Daumen in die Höhe. Ein weißhaariger Mann sitzt auch in Shorts und weißem Poloshirt im Schiff. Hinter dem Baum des Segelboots stehen zwei Frauen, eine auch mit knalliger Schwimmweste, die andere mit einer dunkelblauen Automatic Weste. Auch die erwachsenen lächeln in die Kamera und heben einen Daumen. Im Hintergrund sind noch viele andere festgemachte Schiffe zu sehen. Gleich wird abgelegt für einen Wendekurs der TURNING POINT Stiftung.

Join in: All hands on deck

If you want to sail along with TURNING POINT, you are always welcome. We support sailing clubs that want to engage in inclusive sailing or expand their existing offerings. We support sailing coaches as well as supervisors who want to train and develop themselves in the field of inclusive sailing.

Of course, we are especially looking for people to sail along with us. Whether you are in a wheelchair, lack a hand or lack confidence: you are cordially invited to find your own personal turning point on board. Because we are all in the same boat – and disadvantages stay behind on land!

We need every hand on deck

Help bring disadvantaged people and those with disabilities and impairments on board. With your donation, you support the TURNING POINT Foundation in its work to create turning points in the lives of even more young people with physical or intellectual disabilities and impairments, or who are socially disadvantaged, through inclusive sailing.

Donations account:

Sparkasse Heidelberg

IBAN DE63 6725 0020 0009 3332 82


Please indicated the purpose, name and address for your donation receipt.

For more information, please contact: Sabine Kroker-Hohmann.

Our team: Sailing professionals with management experience

The TURNING POINT Foundation is managed by a team that, together, has probably the greatest experience in Germany inclusive and paralympic sailing:

Heinz-Peter Schmidt - Stifter und Aufsichtsrat der Turning Point Stiftung
Erika Ziegler - Aufsichtsrätin der TPS
Torsten Steinhaus - Aufsichtsrat von TPS
Jens Kroker - Geschäftsführer der TPS
Heinz-Peter Schmidt
Founder and Supervisory Board

The founder, who comes from a Berlin sailing family, grew up in his stomping ground on the Baltic Sea. He has actually always sailed, but has flown much more often, as a long-standing entrepreneur in the manufacturing food industry, with business headquarters in the Rhine-Neckar region as well as Chicago, Illinois. Today, the founder of the TURNING POINT Foundation lives in Heidelberg and devotes himself to the service of social inclusion.

„I consider it a special privilege to be a member of a community in which each person stands up for the other according to their abilities and possibilities, and can thereby reach personal turning points in life. With the TURNING POINT Foundation, I want to make this possible on a broad basis through sailing, especially for disadvantaged young people and those with disabilities and impairments.“

Erika Ziegler
Supervisory Board member

Heinz-Peter Schmidt’s life partner worked for many years in the healthcare sector, focusing on intensive care and occupational medicine. Today, the Heidelberg-based woman supports her partner’s TURNING POINT Foundation.

„It is a matter close to my heart to support children and adolescents, especially from socially disadvantaged families. By doing this, I would like to make constructive contributions to achieving the foundation’s goals.“

Torsten Steinhaus
Supervisory Board member

Torsten Steinhaus is a lawyer and tax consultant and has been working as a consultant in the field of commercial law in Frankfurt am Main since 1990. He has worked alongside the founder for several decades. He is involved in a number of regional non-profit projects, specialising in projects that serve to promote youth and education, and is also active as a supervisory board member in a large education company.

„With the charitable projects I have supported, especially at the TURNING POINT Foundation, I would like to give something back, from my successful long life as a consultant, to not-so-privileged people. The development of our youth in our community is particularly important to me.“

Jens Kroker
Managing Director

Born in Hamburg, he has been Managing Director of TURNING POINT Stiftung gGmbH since 2 December 2021. He has been sailing for 40 years and, with three medals to his name, is one of the world’s most successful Paralympic sailors. His handicap: he was born without a left hand and faced a number of challenges as a child. Sailing has helped him to successfully overcome these challenges, build self-confidence and successfully integrate into society. As a businessman, he has spent more than two decades in management positions at a large corporation. Since 2016, he and his wife have been running their own medical device company in Heidelberg.

„With my work at TURNING POINT, I want to be a role model and also help other people with disabilities and handicaps to reach a turning point in their lives through sailing.“

Bernd Zirkelbach - Leiter Team Academy der TPS
Christian Bittner - Team Academy
Jörg ALeith - Team Academy
Anja Düvel - Team Academy
Bernd Zirkelbach
Head of Team Academy

Bernd Zirkelbach was not only the coach of Jens Kroker. The proud father of two children, and now grandfather to four, has made Germany one of the most successful Paralympic sailing nations as its head coach. Since 1977, he has been a certified sports teacher and sailing coach with an A licence. He now brings his decades of experience in setting up sailing academies and qualifying coaches and supervisors to TURNING POINT. His hobby? Sailing of course!

„Sailing is a very complex sport. A wide range of skills are developed, including important social skills. With the TURNING POINT Foundation, we can offer many disadvantaged members of our society new opportunities for a better future.“

Christian Bittner
Team Academy

Christian Bittner had been Jens Kroker’s personal coach since 2006. After more than 50 years in Berlin’s Müggelsee, a favourable wind blew the diploma-holding sports teacher with a German Olympic Sports Association (DOSB) – B coach licence to the Chiemsee 10 years ago. He now works there as a club coach for inclusion at the Prien-Chiemsee sailing club, and he brings all his experience in inclusive sailing with him, because he has also been assistant coach at the German Parasports Association (Deutscher Behindertensportverband e.V) since 2006. Christian Bittner never gave up his connection to his old home: to this day, he is a member of the Berlin-Grünau Yacht Club.

„Through my years of coaching in competitive parasports, I know how important it is to work at the grassroots level, and that is why I would like to contribute to achieving broader access to sailing, especially in the context of integration.“

Jörg Aleith
Team Academy

Jörg Aleith has been sailing since he was six years old. As a successful regatta sailor, he coached children and adolescents in the sailing coaching centre in his homeland in as early as the 1980s. After his active sailing career, Jörg initially devoted himself to his professional career as an IT consultant in business customer sales at Deutsche Telekom. But once a sailor, always a sailor, so, today, the father and grandfather feels at home again where wind and water shake hands, and a helping hand is always needed. Jörg has discovered the work around inclusive sailing for himself. He is currently refreshing his coaching licence and will then join the TURNING POINT Academy Team as a coach, bringing with him his experience from his professional past.

„When it comes to inclusion and parasports, there has been a focus on lighthouse projects for many years to draw people’s attention to these topics. Now it’s time to spread the word and make the topic accessible to many people. I want to use my power for that.“

Anja Düvel
Team Academy

Anja Düvel comes from northern Germany and has been sailing since she was five years old. The single mother of one daughter is a certified social economist. The licensed trainer of the DSV has been working for many years in the junior sector as a sailing instructor in sailing schools, schools and various clubs. For 6 years, her focus has been on inclusive sailing.

„I want to make sailing possible for everyone!“

Sabine Kroker-Hohmann - Koordination/Team Academy von TPS
Rebecca Ramirez - Referentin der Geschäftführung von TPS
Sabine Kroker-Hohmann
Coordination / Team Academy

The Heidelberg native also grew up with water sports and, as a physiotherapist, dealt with physical limitations from an early age, focusing on orthopaedics, sports physiotherapy, paediatrics and osteopathy. The mother of two sons ran a medical device company based in Heidelberg as managing partner from 2010 to 2023. She currently advises top athletes: internally as well as other companies in the health care sector. At TURNING POINT, she coordinates and channels all activities.

„I love to connect and inspire people, to have the courage to learn NEW THINGS. That is why I would like to encourage children, adolescents and adults to experience, with the support of the TURNING POINT Foundation, how wonderful it feels to grow personally and thereby gain stability for oneself.“

Rebecca Ramirez
Advisor to the Management Board

With a lot of optimism, heart and humour, the graduate sociologist supports the motivated TURNING POINT team and always impresses with creative solutions. It is important to her to determine her own life and to approach people and foreign cultures openly. At TURNING POINT, she would like to give this opportunity to as many children and adolescents as possible.

„At TURNING POINT, I can use my energy for a meaningful project: creating opportunities for participation for everyone.“



Images of the TURNING POINT Foundation, reports on our activities, and also current dates and event information can be found on our press page.

Press Contact:


Philosophenweg 11

69120 Heidelberg

Contact person:

Sabine Kroker – Hohmann

+49 172 721 4829 

Konzept & Umsetzung:

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