Alternative sports lessons for primary school pupils in a school playground in Cologne [Source:].

According to estimates by the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), 31 billion euros will be needed to enable the urgent renovation of ailing sports facilities in Germany. The DOSB counts a good 230,000 sports facilities in total. Particularly affected are the 35,000 sports halls and about 7,500 swimming pools.

School sports are particularly affected, especially children in primary schools. The trend in recent years is clear: in more and more schools, school sport can only be done outside or has even been cancelled. This is happening in parallel to the decline of many small sports clubs, where young people can no longer be found to give training, especially for mass sports. As a result, many children no longer learn important motor skills and are physically deficient; the number of overweight children is growing.

Sportschau reports on an extreme case in Wedding in Berlin, where proper sport lessons cannot be held at the mould-infested Anna-Lindh primary school since 2017. The children are bussed to office spaces four kilometres away for lessons; there is no possibility for sports here. On the children's school reports, "not given" is written as a remark about sport lessons. Actually, three hours of sport are usually included in the general curriculum of the federal states anyway, but the third hour as an individual lesson is too complicated organisationally - especially because of the long distances to the sports facility - and is not included in the timetable by most schools.

The great shortage of teachers leads to many lateral entrants taking over sports lessons - but those who are not trained sports teachers are not allowed to do a large part of the exercises with the children, e.g. in gymnastics. Here, as in general with personnel issues, the working-class areas, where the schools are in the worst condition and most crowded, are of course primarily affected.

Through a special national programme, 876 million euros have been earmarked for the renovation of municipal facilities such as sports facilities until 2027. Of course, this is not quite enough. The last Merkel government once announced 10 billion in immediate aid for sports facilities. With Corona, this matter was successfully forgotten. Today, these 10 billion alone represent a tenth of the special funds that the traffic light government has decided on for the armament of the Bundeswehr (German Army).

The Bundeswehr in particular then plays another role, because if physical training is not made possible at school, then in perspective the - growing - military is one of the best opportunities to acquire many unlearned skills retrospectively. It is only a question of time that the Bundeswehr will approach young people with such offers. Other opportunities can be found nowadays especially in gyms, which preach a totally individualistic image of sport and pacify the gym-goers on the one hand and make them more efficient for their exploiter on the other. While the social offers of the state to its citizens are decreasing, the offers of the bourgeoisie are growing, which are supposed to make the masses more "docile" to the system and in many places put them at the service of the state.