SChildren above all enjoy playing games and romping around. But it’s about more than just feeling good. Scientific research has long since shown that movement is of fundamental importance for the physical, psychological and cognitive development of the little ones.
It is no exaggeration to claim that regular exercise in moderation is good for the people and therefore the country, the nation. Nevertheless, the natural urge to move is not sufficiently promoted by the institutions of the Federal Republic that feel responsible for education.
This is not a new finding. When, in the midst of the pandemic, teacher unions and ministries were still discussing data protection concerns about virtual lessons and the sports clubs had to close their gates, the basketball club ALBA Berlin, among others, quickly put daily sports lessons online – straight from the professionals’ changing room. Children, parents and also educators benefited. More than 100 trainers from the association support Berlin schools in providing child-friendly sports.
Task of state institutions
The tireless efforts of the largest German basketball club and other sports clubs throughout Germany go far beyond the search for talent or publicity. The people behind these ideas see the deficits and the chance to overcome them with the help of sport every day: not even a third of six to seventeen year olds in Germany achieve the minimum level of physical activity recommended by the World Health Organization. The proportion of overweight children is steadily increasing, while the little ones’ exercise time is decreasing.
Socially disadvantaged children are hardest hit. These results also confirm what has been known for years. And yet the third sports lesson per week demanded by the German Olympic Sports Confederation and its predecessor organization is not achieved even without failures at most schools in Germany. Sports as a school subject has no lobby, is viewed by headmasters and parents as very nice, but in case of doubt not relevant for the future of the offspring, although exercise promotes the networking of nerve cells and a certain influence on intelligence has been proven. Not to mention the happiness.
That a club like ALBA Berlin sends trainers to schools so that an adequate range of sports can be guaranteed for children; on the one hand it is wonderful that he compiles teaching materials so that teachers understand what they have to do on the sports field or in the hall. And the willingness of the federal government to give money for it is wise. But on the other hand, this example reveals the poverty of educational policy.
Should sports clubs also fill this gap? It is the task of state institutions to train and educate sufficient teachers in a professional manner. It is not about discovering the Olympic champion of tomorrow, but about the great opportunity to encourage people to exercise for a long time with the help of good physical education. That promises what everyone wants above all: health.