Distract Ukrainian children from everyday worries with sports

Rathenow. It is not easy for the Ukrainian children who came to Germany with their parents because of the war in their homeland. They do not speak German and can only communicate with each other. They don’t make friends that quickly and are otherwise very reserved. The German lessons are anything but easy for the boys and girls. In addition, they not only lost sight of their friends at home, but also had to leave their fathers behind in the war. Not a nice situation for a child.

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Silke Biese is a pedagogical specialist at Geschwister-Scholl primary school in Rathenow. “The children are very attentive in class and very diligent. During recess they often sit quietly on the schoolyard benches because they are not yet able to communicate well with the German children. They always seem very tense and unbalanced to me. I would like something to do so that the Ukrainian children can let go, move around and have fun,’ explains Silke Biese.

Then Silke Biese got the idea to get the children to play sports. “Many of them played sports in clubs in their home country. To give them easier access to sports clubs in the region, I thought of a ball sports group for Ukrainian children. It would be nice if other clubs would also join the project,” says Silke Biese.

The ball sports group for Ukrainian children takes place every Friday in Havellandhallen.

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Sports and sports clubs are important for children

She spoke to Daniel Perlick, the minis coach at the Rathenower Red Eagles basketball club. The 45-year-old pedagogue from Scholl elementary school found open ears with Daniel Perlick, who has been fighting for children’s and youth sports in Rathenow for years.

“I thought it was a very good idea. Sports and sports clubs are important for children. In the clubs, not only competitive sports are practiced, but also social contacts, which are of great importance for the children’s development,” says Daniel Perlick.

“Besides, you might remove their fear of the German club system. In their homeland, many of them were also creative and active in sports. Many Ukrainian mothers ask me where their children can practice sports, art or music. The interest certainly seems to be there,” says Silke Biese about her experiences.

13-year-old Jasko, a student at Jahn-Gymnasium, also wants to be part of the project. “I’m not in a club, but I like playing school sports. That’s why I’m looking forward to playing sports with the Ukrainian children. I’m happy to be part of the project,” says Jasko.

It’s important to have fun and connect with each other

Daniel Perlick emphasizes that it is not about finding new talent for his club. “The children don’t just have to play basketball. The project is simply about handling the ball and movement. That’s why we call the project a ball sports group. It doesn’t matter whether the children go to basketball or football or play music afterwards. It’s important to have fun and connecting with each other. Well, if anyone would like to play basketball with us, of course I’d be happy too.”

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Project Ball sports group for Ukrainian children invites you to shoot baskets.

Project Ball sports group for Ukrainian children invites you to shoot baskets.

The offer is exclusively for Ukrainian boys and girls between the ages of six and twelve. “We want to make it possible for the Ukrainian children to participate in the ball sports group without any inhibitions. This is best possible when they are among themselves and slowly build trust. Our goal for Christmas is to end the program with a pointe sports party. At that time the children have cleared the first obstacles in the German lessons,” explains Silke Biese.

Every Friday in Rathenower Havellandhalle

The ball sports group for Ukrainian children meets every Friday from 3 to 4 pm in the Rathenow Havelland Hall. Associations wishing to support this project are welcome to do so. “We would also have liked to do longer than an hour. Unfortunately, the hall occupancy in Rathenow is no longer available. The halls are fully booked,” says Daniel Perlick.

“It is important that something is done now in the situation. So the children can just be children and forget their everyday problems for a short time. Pupils from all Rathenow primary schools can participate. If we could also get some of the Ukrainian children to find their way into sports clubs, that would be fantastic,” says Silke Biese.

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