FCGH Kids – German-language soccer training for preschool children
A sunny, not too warm Saturday morning at the end of May in Finland. The previous evening, the three adult teams of FC Germania Helsinki had been training at the KäPä Campus, and now ten children between the ages of four and six are running onto the pitch and placing their water bottles on the designated marker plate in the circle. Then it’s time for the warm-up, which has a different theme every week. This time it is a journey with the spaceship. The training of the kids of FC Germania Helsinki takes place for the sixth time today. Parents are sitting on the sidelines in the sun, taking care of the youngsters who can’t go on the field yet, or chatting. “During the first sessions, the parents still had to intervene a few times, but now it’s nice to see how the kids also grow together as a group and support each other,” a father tells me. The Saturday session is already firmly rooted in the family’s weekend schedule, he says. Another family also emphasizes the social aspect and the opportunity for their son to make new friends. The family moved to Helsinki from Berlin only last year and will stay in Finland only temporarily, which is why the son does not speak Finnish. Together with friends from the German kindergarten, he independently decided to join the soccer training. The parents are happy that there is such an offer in German for children of this age here in Helsinki.
The demand for a German-language offering for children was great and the maximum number of participants was reached after only a short time. “We have a unique selling point here, as German-language hobbies are rare in Helsinki for girls and boys of this age,” says Markus, one of the initiators. Together with Andreas and Felix, he drew up an initial concept last year and set about putting it into practice. “The idea of founding a junior team at FC Germania Helsinki had been around for a long time, even before the club had its own young players,” laughs Andreas, who himself has also played and been active at FC Germania Helsinki for many years. “So it’s all the nicer that we’ve now been able to take the first step and that it’s been so well received by the children.” No wonder, since the ten children are looked after by three German-speaking trainers* with pedagogical and sporting experience in dealing with groups of small children. The focus of the training is on the fun of movement and togetherness, but simple typical soccer movements such as passing, shooting and dribbling are also taught.
The current offer is limited to ten training sessions and will end at the summer break. However, those responsible are already making new plans. “After the summer, we will continue with a weekly training for children of pre-school age,” Markus tells us. Also the foundation of a Bambini team and the participation in tournaments are planned. Of course, it is hoped that many children from the current group will like it so much that they will continue after the summer break. At the same time, they would like to recruit new children for the Bambini training. Preparations for this are underway and interested parents can find out more at www.fcgermania.fi/kids.