Lack of exercise – sports educator: Sport must be a cross-cutting issue in all departments and administrations

Gymnastics on horseback: a foreign concept for many students. (picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Sebastian Kahnert)
“The responsibility is too divided, the ministers of culture are responsible for school sports and the ministers of the interior for competitive sports. Then there are youth sports in social work and sports in the sector of health. So there is a distribution of responsibilities. You have to have sport as a cross-cutting issue in anchor departments and authorities. Maybe like in some federal states in the state chancellery or chancellery” , said Gerlach on Deutschlandfunk.

Less movement here, more movement there

It is estimated that only a quarter of all children and young people are currently physically active. According to Erin Gerlach, the corona pandemic has accelerated the lack of exercise. “We did not have sports exactly where we reached all children and young people, namely in schools. Not to mention, the active way of going to school was also suppressed. In addition, the sports of club have been massively restricted.”

According to previous knowledge, confinements also had different effects in terms of exercise for children, depending on the social position of the parents, according to Gerlach: “People with higher incomes in the home office often exercised more outdoors with their children. on the other hand, in so-called systemically important occupations, were less able to care for their children and were happy that their children were just safe at home without encouragement to exercise.”

Childhood periods of motivation for sports went unused

For the scientist from Hamburg, it is not clear whether the sports development opportunities lost due to the lockdown can be compensated for or how big the gaps are. “As in other school subjects, this will only appear in the years to come. But if you consider the fact that many developments take place in childhood, such as joining clubs, then we are talking sensitive or favorable periods where suggestions take And very little has happened in the last couple of years so you have to assume that we lost something there and lacked young people to motivate them to play sports .”

Investments in people who have suffered particularly from the corona pandemic, especially children and young people, are necessary. There was too much emphasis on the economy. “But giving children and young people a voice during this time has happened very rarely,” Gerlach said.

This post was broadcast on Deutschlandfunk on December 14, 2022.

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