Düsseldorf Anyone who hasn’t played sports since early childhood often finds it difficult to get started as a teenager – especially in team sports. Why summer vacation is a good time for kids and young adults to get started.
Six weeks of summer vacation provide children and young adults with plenty of time for holidays, hobbies and friends – but also for sports. Whether it’s swimming in the outdoor pool, playing beach volleyball, surfing or soccer at the beach, or on holiday camps and sports trips. But especially those who have not been involved in a sport since kindergarten, they often ask themselves how they can catch up with peers who have been in the club for years, especially in team sports. Barrier is often too high. Even teens often find it difficult to join a team sport without prior knowledge. This is especially true of (young) adults. After all, who wants to join a team where they are the only beginner?
Vacations in particular provide a good opportunity to exercise for almost all age groups, but especially for children and young adults. Because the city’s sports clubs or federations or, for example, NRW youth sports provide many opportunities to spend your free time in sports, to try different sports or play football, hockey or tennis, for example. Through the various holiday offerings, newcomers and latecomers can practice their first essential knowledge without having to compete directly with fellow experienced or opponents.
Tasting courses and sports camps In almost all cities, clubs offer courses or camps in their facilities, where different age groups practice sports for several days at a time. There are not only camps for the already existing youth teams, but also tasting days. So there you meet many other people who are making their first attempts at this sport.
There are football schools or camps almost everywhere. In many cities you will also find what you are looking for in basketball, handball, volleyball, hockey, tennis or athletics. Swimming courses held during the holidays are also very popular. If there is no suitable offer where you live, it is worth taking a look at the clubs in the neighboring towns.
This also applies if you are interested in playing club sports in general and not just for holidays. “The best and first point of contact on the site if you do not know what offers are available are the sports federations in the city and the region. They usually have a good overview of the clubs that have a section for children and youth and are geared towards team sports,” says Andrea Hellgert, team sports officer at Sports Federation of North Rhine-Westphalia. Sports federations can also provide information on where latecomers are in good hands.
“Moreover, many trade associations offer holiday programs such as Cycling Week,” says Hilgert. It is worth taking a look at the websites of the respective associations.
Multi Sports Offers
If you don’t really know what sport is right for you, but still want to be physically active, you are in good hands with programs that offer a more varied program. Some clubs in North Rhine-Westphalia offer the Olympic Sports Games during the summer holidays, where children and young people can compete and test themselves in various sports and physical activity. Nobody needs to be a great soccer talent or a particularly good runner for that. It’s about enjoying the movement and learning about different disciplines.
The same applies to sports camps such as those offered by the Physical Education Center. In Mülheim an der Ruhr, for example, young people between the ages of 8 and 14 can try out several sports at the sports facility at the Kahlenberger Hockey and Tennis Club from July 25-29. In addition to hockey, this also includes tightrope, fun golf and soccer. There are several sports workshops for young people aged 12 to 15 at the Fun and Action Camp run by Youth Sports in Oberberg in Borkum. Similar offers, whether on site, by the sea or in the mountains, are also available from other sports clubs or federations. Many of them still have free places for these holidays, not only for children from the city in question. For example here >>>
Financing program for extra time to exercise
The extra time for sports aims to counteract the lack of movement caused by the Corona pandemic. The project is funded by the Ministry of Schools and Education in North Rhine-Westphalia. The state sports federation allocates funds for this, which many clubs also use for performances during the holidays. It’s about six hours of physical activity for kids. It can occur in one day or spread over several days. An overview of performances from this project can be found here on the Sportjugend NRW homepage >>>
Adults are also always looking for ways to start a sport or return to their previous hobby. “The German university sports federation is also interesting for young people. There are collegiate sports at universities, and usually non-students can also enroll,” says Hilgert of LSB NRW. Many universities offer a very wide range, from classic performances to fitness and modern sports. Many The courses are also suitable for completely beginners.Another advantage here too: you meet people of the same age with the same interest and level of sport and you can also meet new people as a newcomer to the city.
Sports in the garden
If you do not feel that you are in good hands with college sports or sports clubs, or you cannot find the right offer there, you can find what you are looking for in the “Sport in the Park” project. Many cities participate and offer non-binding offers of free exercise in the summer months. They usually occur in parks, green spaces, or other easily accessible public places. The purpose of the offer is explicitly that anyone who wants to participate can participate. As a rule, no special prior knowledge is required. In this case, you do not need to register or be a member of a club. For this purpose, some sports clubs use “Sport im Park” as an opportunity to make their offers available to new interested parties. This often results in the opportunity to take advantage of other introductory offers from clubs, making it easier for many to get started in club sports.
Especially interesting in summer
Even apart from organized shows, summer in particular offers a wide range of opportunities to exercise, says Hilgert. Sports that you can play outside are especially good for this. For example on the beach, in the outdoor pool, in the park or simply in the city: like beach volleyball, beach soccer, beach handball, cycling, snowboarding, climbing or climbing. Hilgart says lifeguards are also a good opportunity to exercise in the summer. The DLRG also trains lifeguards in the summer and offers other swimming shows. For other water sports such as sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, snorkeling, or stand-up paddleboarding, there are also facilities and courses or offers for river rides on many of the lakes in NRW.
But there are also opportunities for all ages to start a sport outside of the holidays. Andrea Hilgert, Head of Popular Sports at LSB, asserts that “most clubs offer not just competitive sports, but grassroots sports”. Not everything will be suitable for late arrivals, in gymnastics, for example, it becomes difficult to catch up with age. But as a recreational sport, many things are completely independent of age. Sometimes you have to look for something that is offered where and how, but there are always popular sports groups for kids and adults. The search can be helped by the LSB club search, which can be found here: www.vereinssuche-nrw.de