The energy crisis and austerity measures will stop at no one this winter. Even the sports clubs should take drastic measures in winter to save costs. This could have consequences, especially for children.

The energy crisis is also hitting sports clubs hard: almost 90,000 sports clubs are to take measures to save electricity this winter. This emerges from a statement by the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB). A phased plan should ensure that the sports facilities do not have to close in winter – because the still rising energy costs are driving many clubs financially to the abyss. In order to prevent a crash, the clubs should enforce different measures. These include temperature reductions in sports facilities.

The DOSB appeals to the around 90,000 sports clubs organized under it to save at least 20 percent energy. The measures proposed by the association include, among other things, playing sports in unheated halls, showering without hot water and banning floodlights at outdoor games. As the Frankfurter Allgemeine am Sonntag (FAS) reports, local football clubs in particular have already enforced the floodlight ban.

A spokesman for the DOSB told the FAS that sports associations across Germany were already asking for help because they were worried about their existence. There is a risk that the energy crisis will lead to structural damage in the sports club landscape in Germany.

The consequences of the pandemic have exhausted the reserves of many clubs, and they can hardly cope with the sharp rise in energy costs. According to the DOSB, there should not be any price increases for the time being: Because the sports clubs are an important contact point, especially for many members from low-income households, so that they can still take part in sports. With rising energy prices and inflation, they would otherwise no longer be able to afford it.

In order to get energy costs under control, the sports clubs in Germany should appeal to their around 27 million members to observe the following rules:

The DOSB expects to be able to save around ten percent of the energy costs in this way.

For the sports clubs, most of which have not yet recovered from the pandemic and the associated cuts, the austerity measures are added. On top of that, this could exacerbate a worrying trend: Fewer and fewer children have been participating in club sports for years. As the “Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland” (RND) reports, around 80 percent of children and young people were not moving enough even before the pandemic. Measures to contain the corona virus have also led to a further decrease in the number of children who are active in sports clubs.

The chairman of a Hamburg gymnastics association told the FAS that there was a massive decline in swimming courses, for example. The DLRG also warns that fewer and fewer children can swim. Parents sometimes even wait years for places in the swimming course, reports Bayerischer Rundfunk.

The austerity measures could make this situation even worse, because the indoor swimming pools would also have to lower their temperatures as part of this. But children, writes the FAS, would only be put off by the cold water. swimming lessons? none.

The sports motor skills in children have been deteriorating for years. This was also criticized by the Brandenburg Minister of Education and Sport, Britta Ernst (SPD). Many children lack strength and endurance. If the austerity measures of the sports clubs are added to this, this could lead to even fewer children being interested in club sports.

The DOSB therefore also calls for a relief package for sport: “It cannot be that politicians repeat the mistakes of the corona pandemic and underestimate the importance of sport for society,” said DOSB CEO Torsten Burmester.

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