Most sports clubs in Schleswig-Holstein have fewer members in the youth sector! Football is very badly affected. It is noticeable that the A-youth teams are suffering particularly.

Anyone who thinks that other sports (handball, volleyball, basketball) will benefit from this is sadly mistaken: because here, too, there are declines. The reasons for this are the demographic development (low birth rate) and fewer trainers in the clubs. This is very easy to explain for the trainers: they sacrifice their free time and sometimes also money for “their” sport.

Many clubs lack the financial means to train the instructors so that they can offer more interesting and modern training sessions. The young people themselves suffer more and more from time pressure: due to all-day schools or vocational training, their free time is becoming increasingly tightly scheduled. This is aggravated by the fact that young people prefer to spend their free time with entertainment media. (JIM Study 2021).

Team sports are important for the acquisition of social skills. Children and young people learn self-confidence, critical faculties, punctuality, integration, cleanliness, respect, tolerance and fair play through team sports.

Another problem for clubs is directly related to dwindling membership numbers: sponsors. With fewer members, sponsors are less interested in jersey or perimeter advertising. Fewer sponsors and also fewer members mean that the club’s coffers are short of money. This closes the vicious circle: less income and the same expenditure – that doesn’t work in the long run.

But what could a solution to this problem look like? First of all, clubs and schools should work better and more closely together. Project weeks, school sports days, school sports festivals and fun competitions could be organised. In this way, clubs could introduce themselves, and trainers and instructors could introduce themselves personally.

Furthermore, the large umbrella organisations (e.g. DFB, DHB) should give amateur clubs more financial support. This would give amateur clubs the opportunity to employ trainers on a mini-job basis and to qualify them more frequently and better.

Here is a brief overview of the costs for participating in training courses for coaches: The trainer education for the C-licence trainer in football costs 240 euros. If you want to take the B licence afterwards, you have to pay as much as 1167 euros. At the latest at this point, the will to volunteer understandably weakens, so the costs have to be borne by the participants themselves.

Occasionally, the argument comes up that participation in club sport is associated with sometimes quite high costs. Therefore, here is a final tip: the state capital Kiel and the Kiel Sports Association enable children and young people from financially weak families to participate in club sports free of charge. Whether a child is entitled to the education package can be checked at the responsible job centre or the Office for Housing and Basic Security. The application form is also available there.

One more note: A separate application must be made for each child/youth.

And if this text at least makes one or the other person think about finding a team sport after all, these lines will not have been in vain. As a little help, we would like to refer you to the club search of the Landessportverband Schleswig-Holstein. Simply enter your own postcode and the sports clubs in the vicinity will be displayed. Rest assured: The variety of sports is truly impressive. 🙂