Connect with us


The challenges COVID-19 poses for youth sports



“Hello everyone, after a long time of reflection our son has decided to leave the club.”

This is the Whatsapp message that a young football player’s parents wrote in a parents’ group of a regional league football team recently. That’s the highest-level of football in Germany for players under the age of 17. The 14-year-old, who was the best striker on his team, decided to give up the sport. The decision came as a bombshell for both teammates and parents – including his own.

Professor Hans-Georg Predel of the German Sport University Cologne says the lack of training and play due to COVID-19 restrictions is likely to have been a factor in the youngster’s decision.

“This could also mean an end to his sporting career,” he told DW.

However, according to the professor, who is a researcher in physical activity and high-performance exercise in childhood and adolescence and as well as in biological adaptations in high-performance athletes, behavioral patterns among 10 and 18-year-olds are quite inconsistent.

“Young people… are searching for their personal path in life, and this implies a great willingness to try out new things,” Predel said.

COVID-19 has disrupted the sporting paths of young athletes all over the world, with many experiencing more than one lockdown, forcing training, leagues and tournaments to be placed on hold.

A lost generation

In Kenya, sports came to a complete standstill from the first lockdown in March until the beginning of October, when athletes in individual sports were able to return to training. In football, the Kenyan Premier League season only resumed play last month.

But young athletes weren’t able to return to the pitch even when the schools reopened in October – and this poses a huge problem.

“We basically lost almost a year, like a generation. And we in the sport industry know how critical it is for a certain age group to remain active and continue to train,” Kenyan sport journalist Carol Radull told DW, adding that this has also impacted the development of young players.

Unlike in Germany, there is no developed system of sports clubs in Kenya, so youth sports are the domain of the school system. Academies are reserved for those whose parents have the necessary means. So, according to Radull, the only path for an athlete to get noticed by professional scouts is through events and tournaments organized through the Kenyan school system, which includes sports like football, field hockey and swimming on its curriculum.

Germany’s new solutions

In Germany, which is currently grappling with a second wave of COVID-19 infections, the number of competitions taking place in youth sports has been drastically reduced.

“This is dramatic for the players because it is completely new to them. Before the pandemic their lives were completely different,” Friederike Kromp, head coach of Germany’s under-17 girls’ football team told DW.

Youth national teams draw their players from amateur clubs, via Germany’s regional associations.

To keep young players motivated during the lockdown, Kromp and coaches such as Nate Weiss, technical skills and individual trainer at FC Nuremberg, have developed virtual training sessions designed not only to improve football skills, but also focusing on issues like mental stability, social media and diet.

The sessions, which were originally developed exclusively for youth national team players, are now being made available to other youths in under the DFB’s (German Football Assocation) talent-development program known as the Fussball Stützpunkt. Thousands of young players from more than 300 high-performance centers around the country have been participating in the sessions.

“We started to bring the players together via Zoom or other video platforms to train together. Everyone can follow the training sessions from their own living rooms or backyards, and it’s worked very well,” Kromp said.

“We have to try to make the best of things and motivate the youngsters. We need to be there for them and also give them a reason for hope.”

Interaction inhibited

In the United States, youth sports resumed when schools reopened after the summer break. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines to reduce the risk of infection were a relief for some youth sports clubs but also criticized by many.

While major youth soccer tournaments such as the Youth Soccer National League, the largest youth sports organization in the country, has postponed events in some states, others still allow sports activities.

Sporting Omaha FC established the first girls’ soccer development academy and remains the only one in Nebraska that has the highest level of play in youth soccer under the US Soccer Development Academy. The Omaha FC girls’ academy provides young talents with an environment in which they can develop their game. Its aim is to empower the young players to reach their full potential. Its tournaments regularly draw dozens of American scouts and Division 1 college coaches. Its staff are also involved in strategic planning of youth development and competitive platforms.

Alex Mason, director of coaching at Sporting Omaha FC, where training with masks is mandatory, told DW that “it is really hard for young players to read facial expressions when the coaches are wearing masks. So there are a lot of interactions that are wasted, and we are missing out with our younger players.”

Mason also says that the pandemic has had an impact in participation, particularly at the recreational level.

“I am not sure if we are going to lose an entire generation of players, but I know just from the recreation point of view, there has been a dropoff in registrations of at least 30%.”

The day after the pandemic will come 

While youth coaches, sports clubs and sports ministries look for solutions, some believe this year’s state of limbo will have long-term effects in amateur sport and national programs.

But Kromp, the German under-17 girl’s coach, argues that there are ways that these effects can be mitigated and she says it’s also important to recognize that nothing that none of the work youngsters do during a lockdown will be a waste of time.

“The day after the pandemic is over will come,” she stressed.

Read from source:

Continue Reading


PSG: Parisian Return Dream For Spain



Long removed from the Spanish selection, Sergio Ramos could know very big news today. The Paris Saint-Germain central defender has been very serious since the start of the season and he could now reap the fruits of his labor, he who had suffered a long calf injury.

Paris Saint-Germain emerged from a 7-0 victory over Pays de Cassel in the round of 16 of the Coupe de France. This is the third time this season that Christophe Galtier’s team has managed to score so many goals in a match, after the 7-1 against LOSC in the league and the 7-2 against Maccabi Haïfa in the Ligue des Champions. With this victory, PSG is qualified for the round of 16 where it will find Olympique de Marseille for the 2nd Classic of this fiscal year 2022/2023.

Autumn champion, Paris Saint-Germain is only 3 points ahead of its runner-up RC Lens. With 47 points, the Parisians managed a very big first part of the season in Ligue 1, with a record of 15 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses. Great news recently fell concerning one of Galtier’s players, enough to motivate him to attack a second part of the season which will be busy in Paris.

Luis de la Fuente in Favor of Ramos’ Return

According to information reported by the AS newspaper, the new coach of the Spanish national team Luis de la Fuente will soon meet Sergio Ramos to discuss the prospect of his return to La Roja! A moment eagerly awaited by the central defender of Paris Saint-Germain who had a very bad time not being called up for selection with Luis Enrique, he who missed the last World Cup in which he could have participated.

Spain have just inherited Italy in the draw for the Final 4 of the League of Nations which takes place this Wednesday. Sergio Ramos could therefore make his return 2 years later, he who had played his last match in the red jersey against Kosovo on March 31, 2021. Better still, the legend of Real Madrid could even be entrusted with the role of captain of the club. team by Luis de la Fuente, who has a lot of consideration for the Parisian number 4. Author of 2092 minutes played in a total of 26 games with Paris this season, Ramos shows his ability to play at the highest level at almost 37 years old.

This article is originally published on

Continue Reading


Today’s Transfer Market Updates: January 16



Lots of news on this Monday of the transfer market. From Nicola’s bench in the balance, to the sensational victory of Atalanta over Salernitana for 8-2. Market bombs involving Inter and Barcelona, engaged in an exchange. Today’s news will make fans dream!

Mychailo Mudryk to Chelsea

Here we go! The transfer of the Ukrainian player, as already anticipated yesterday, is now official. An exhibition operation, the one that led the Shakhtar striker to wear the Blues shirt. He had already distinguished himself as a promising profile and thus convinced the Chelsea management that the English team decided to shell out 100 million euros and thus beat the competition from Arsenal, who went so far as to offer 70 million euros as a basis fixed and more than 25 million in bonuses, which are not always easy to achieve, as reported by the transfer market expert Fabrizio Romano. The boy’s will has always pushed the negotiation towards a transfer to Arsenal, but the Blues have been very convincing, both with the rich contract offered to the player, but also with the important commissions that will be paid to the boy’s agents. And then there are the requests from Shakhtar to consider, who immediately made it clear that they only wanted to listen to offers starting from a base of 100 million. When Mychajlo realized that Arsenal’s offer was already the maximum of their possibilities, he accepted the Chelsea court. The Ukrainian footballer binds to Chelsea until 2030, a very long contract, which protects the growth of the footballer, who will immediately have the opportunity to take the field and demonstrate his real value.

Bomb From Spain: Exchange Depay – Correa!

Sensational indiscretion from Spain, where many newspapers describe a very advanced negotiation between Barcelona and Inter, engaged in an equal exchange, which would bring Memphis Depay to Milan and Joaquin Correa to Barcelona. A negotiation that would make many fans happy and certainly both clubs. The Dutchman Depay’s contract is about to expire and the limited playing time that Xavi has given him so far suggests that the management will hardly be willing to offer him a renewal. Very good reason to help Memphis find new accommodation right away. There have been many polls, especially from second tier Premier League clubs. A few days later Manchester United came forward, for what would have been a sensational comeback. However, the English club has moved on to other objectives, making Weghorst official. Atletico Madrid have also come forward for the player, having to replace Joao Felix, who is on loan at Chelsea. However, contacts with Barça have shown that, under current conditions, the negotiation cannot take off.

As for Inter, Correa has absolutely not convinced. Last season he was tormented by physical problems, while this year he had much less. Different situation but the performance of the Tucu has never been positive. Performance that led the Nerazzurri management to consider a possible transfer. The investment made to convince Lotito and bring Joaquin to the Nerazzurri was important, but Tucu has never convinced. And taking a look at Inzaghi’s attack, we immediately understand why the arrival of Depay cannot be excluded: Lukaku tormented by injuries, Dzeko who cannot always play as a starter and then Correa who is not convincing. Depay at Inter would be a reinforcement of no small value and Correa at Barcelona would be a good chance to find a different audience, which possibly doesn’t boo, unlike the Nerazzurri.

More News

Verona: Hongla can leave. Salernitana and Cremonese strongly interested in the player. Ballardini signs with Cremonese until 2024. Inter have not yet received any official request for Marcelo Brozovic. Nicola in the balance, the granata management did not take the defeat against Atalanta well.

This article is originally published on


Continue Reading


Leeds Sign Hoffenheim Forward Georginho Rutter For Record £35.5m



Leeds broke transfer record to sign striker Georginio Rutter from Hoffenheim for £35.5m.

The deal follows negotiations between the two clubs earlier this week, with the France Under-21 international’s transfer topping the club’s record transfer fee of £27million paid for Rodrygo from Valencia in August 2020.

Rutter, 20, has signed a five-and-a-half-year contract at Elland Road, until the summer of 2028.

A glimpse of what Leeds can expect from new signing Rutter
Tell Sky Sports News: “There is a lot of emotion today. It’s an important day. I am very happy to be here and very excited to start.

“I run and I bring a lot of energy to the field. I like to dribble and play beautifully, score goals and get assists. I hope [I can get the goals that take Leeds up the table]. ”

Rutter has scored twice in 17 games in all competitions for Hoffenheim this season and has a record tally of 11 goals in 64 appearances for the Bundesliga side.

He is Leeds’ second clean signing in January after bringing in Austrian defender Max Wober from Red Bull Salzburg for £11m.

Rutter is not eligible to play Wednesday’s FA Cup third round replay with Cardiff City, but will be introduced to the crowd before kick-off at Elland Road.

He could make his Leeds debut in the Premier League home game against Brentford on Sunday January 22, live Sky Sports.

Jesse Marsh’s side are 14th in the Premier League, two points above the relegation zone, after Friday night’s loss to Aston Villa.

This article is originally published on

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2020 ,