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Club sport in the pandemic: "Like a child's birthday without sugar"


Popular sport in Germany is largely at a standstill. When playing football, children are allowed on the pitch - but under strict conditions. What does that do to the kids? A visit to SC Victoria in Hamburg.

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For months, popular and recreational sport in Germany has largely been idle.

And wherever training takes place, there are only strict restrictions that keep changing.

Also in the youth sector.

What does it do to children and adolescents when they are no longer allowed to train as they are used to?

When they move less?

When there is no more competition?

Children up to 14 years of age are allowed to train outdoors, including the F-youth of SC Victoria in Hamburg.

But strict conditions also apply here.

Björn Gudenrath, U8 coach SC Victoria Hamburg



main difference is the group size at the moment.

We are only allowed to train with five children, without contact.

That is, no game form.

The form of play, everyone has to imagine, is the heart of a training session, regardless of whether it is for men or especially for children.

It's like a child's birthday without sugar.

There's just something missing. "

Björn Gudenrath has been a youth coach at SC Victoria for more than ten years.

For him and all the other coaches, the effort in the pandemic has increased.

The 46-year-old has to be tested before every training session.

After about 20 minutes, Gudenrath receives the test result.

Four large fields were demarcated on the square for training.

That means: Gudenrath can no longer lead the training alone, now four adults train 20 children here.

At the end of 2020, the corona rules were even stricter.

Björn Gudenrath, U8 trainer SC Victoria Hamburg

»In December and November we were only able to train with six children, out of 67 children in the year.

That means, everyone was maybe once a week.

There is of course a huge lack of training time. "

A lot of creativity is required so that training without a game does not become too monotonous and boring: special exercises for passing, dribbling, shooting and orienting.

Björn Gudenrath, U8 coach SC Victoria Hamburg

“It's always difficult to tell the boys apart because they are very lively at that age.

They want to experience something, they want to jump on each other to say hello.

They have their rituals.

None of that works anymore. "

The children are happy to be able to train at all.

And yet they are missing something.

Jonas Hennings, SC Victoria Hamburg

»Usually we almost always had duels.

So just games.

And that's just not the case in the Corona times. " 

Julius von Weiß, SC Victoria Hamburg

“It's just more fun when I'm allowed to get together again, because you can't play against each other and we're only allowed to play with five people.

And I think that's very stupid. "

Moritz Täger, SC Victoria Hamburg


Yes, I would like to have some dribbling again.

We do all of this in additional training here.

But I think it's better without Corona. "

The physical consequences of the pandemic for children cannot yet be precisely predicted.

Sports sociologist Hans-Jürgen Schulke sports sociologist fears

»That we will have children with clear deficits, development deficits, because certain and fundamental motor processes, playful motor processes, which at the same time also develop the brain again, promote the metabolic system, cardiovascular system, metabolism, but especially these motor and mental development processes can no longer be made up. "

But it is by no means just about the physical.

Hans-Jürgen Schulke, sports sociologist

»Togetherness, to support one another, willingness to help, to learn fairness.

And that of course threatens to be reduced or even not to be addressed at all. "  

In Germany there are around 90,000 associations with 27 million members.

It is estimated that a million members left during the pandemic.

So far, SC Victoria has only lost a few, but only gained a few, says David Eybächer, the club's sporting director.

Eybächer also has to help out on the pitch at the moment.

And although the training business somehow continues, he fears the consequences.

David Eybächer, trainer and youth coordinator SC Victoria Hamburg

“And we will in the next few months, if normal training is allowed again.

When normal competitions are allowed.

Then we will also have children who have lost the fun of football, who have lost their passion because they no longer know it, because it is something new again and how they have to get to know teamwork or football again. "

The pandemic has hit all of sport hard.

Many amateur, recreational and amateur athletes are waiting for training and games to go back to normal.

Or as Jonas puts it:

Jonas Hennings, SC Victoria Hamburg

"I hope it will change soon and then I hope that football will soon get back to normal."

Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2021-05-04

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