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SV Rhenania Köln (SVR) was founded in 1919 in Cologne-Deutz. The first sporting successes were already achieved in the 1920s. After the Second World War, Rhenania developed into the most successful swimming club in Cologne.



Well-known swimmers such as Johannes "Jonny" Förster and Rudi Becker left their mark on the club.

After the former world record holder and Olympic silver medallist, Gerhard Hetz, took over as head coach at the SVR in the 1970s, the club's most successful period began.


Between 1977 and 1993, SVR swimmers won several medals at World Championships and Olympic Games.


Rainer Henkel (*1964) stood out with his achievements in the men's field. He won bronze with the German freestyle relay team in Seoul in 1988. He was also world champion in 1986 over 400m and 1500m freestyle and European champion in 1987 over the long distance as well as with the 4x200 freestyle relay team.  


The swimmers Ina Beyermann (*1965) and Petra Zindler (*1966) together won over fifty German championship titles in the 1980s and both won a bronze medal at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.


After 2000, Ralf Steffen became coach of SV Rhenania. With Kerstin Vogel (*1985), another swimmer became German champion in the open class in 2009. Sabrina Marzahn (*1991) and Denise Gruhn (*1990) won German championships in their age groups.


Artistic & high diving


SV Rhenania Köln was also successful in the former artistic and high diving department and was the home club of the multiple German champion Doris Pecher (*1966).


Water polo


Since the foundation of the SVR, there has been a water polo team in the club. The club had its first successes in the youth sector. After the vice-championship in 1986, the youth section crowned itself with the German championship in 1987 and even won the West German Cup in 1993.


With the promotion to the single-division 2nd Water Polo Bundesliga in 1995, the SVR men's team regularly competed throughout Germany.


In the 2009/2010 season, SV Rhenania and SC Blau-Weiß Poseidon Köln founded a "Spielgemeinschaft Wasserball" (water polo joint venture) to strengthen the youth sector and water polo in Cologne.


After several restructurings of the water polo league (DWL), the newly founded SG Wasserball Rhenania/BW Poseidon Köln (short: SGW Köln) under Ilie Slavei succeeded in advancing to the B group (one of two play-off groups) of the Bundesliga.


The SGW Köln then played in the 2nd League West for several years before being promoted to the B group of the Bundesliga again in 2017 under Jürgen Ignatzy, Marco Räde and Irakli "Tate" Tatischwilli.


SGW Cologne's most successful finish in the B group came in the 2019/2020 season, when Jürgen Ignatzy and Dirk van de Loogt's team were top of the table after 13 of 14 games until the season was abandoned due to Corona.


There were also repeated successes in the Masters (Ü30) in connection with the SGW Köln. For example, several players successfully competed in Masters European and World Championships.