Active Start to a Healthy Life

Düsseldorf's largest sports club, the SFD '75, supports the initiative "SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit" in the fight against lifestyle-related diseases such as overweight and type 2 diabetes.

SMS_SFD`75_2019.jpg: Children of the GGS Am Köhnen during a gymnastics trial training session. Source:Düsseldorfer Kids mit PFIFF e.V./SMS

At present, during children’s school years the number of overweight children is increasing two-fold. These impairments are not only limited to childhood, but also have a considerable influence on further development up to adulthood. Against this background, the initiative "SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit" aims to provide programs for healthy childhood development and long-term prevention of overweight and lifestyle-related illnesses such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. The aim of the initiative is to show primary schoolchildren how easy it is to maintain a balanced diet and how much fun regular exercise is.

Enjoyment of exercise is also a top priority for the sports club Verein für Sport und Freizeit von 1975 Düsseldorf-Süd e.V., the SFD '75. The association, which has been awarded the quality seal "Kinderfreundlicher Sportverein" (child-friendly sports club) by the NRW State Sports Association, is already cooperating with numerous day care centers and schools and has once again invited elementary school students of the SMS initiative to a trial gymnastics training session. The basics of gymnastics were laid down more than 200 years ago by the gymnastics educator Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, known as the “father of gymnastics“. Gymnastics continues to provide a lot of fun for even the youngest and, like hardly any other sport, makes child-friendly promotion of coordination and other important functions possible.

During the gymnastics trial training session with the SFD '75, the pupils of the GGS Am Köhnen and the KGS Josef-Kleesattel-Straße have the opportunity to try out various gymnastics exercises under the guidance of professional instructors. This allows the children to gain an insight into this diverse and varied sport and at the same time to train their agility.

"A special goal of our sports club is to raise awareness in children at an early age of the importance of eating a healthy diet  and enabling them to have fun and be motivated through sports. This is a great challenge for us, which we gladly face together with our cooperation partners," said SFD '75 managing director Andrea Haupt, explaining her commitment. "With the SMS initiative, we want to show the participating students the variety of sports activities and inspire them to exercise regularly during the course of their lives. We are very pleased that our numerous partners and sponsors support us so much," said SMS project head Professor Karsten Müssig,

The initiative “SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit." led by Professor Karsten Müssig at Düsseldorf primary schools seeks to counteract overweight/obesity and other lifestyle-related diseases in childhood and adolescence. The SMS initiative is supported by the association Düsseldorfer Kids mit PFIFF e.V. and scientifically accompanied by the German Diabetes Center (DDZ). The participating children earn  their nutrition pilot license in cooperation with the Educational Center for Dietary Assistants of the Kaiserswerther Diakonie and take part in the exercise program for primary schools “Fitness for Kids” developed by sports scientist Professor Kerstin Ketelhut“. In addition, the pupils are taught stress mitigation techniques in an advanced training course in motor skills in a sensory classroom of the Präha Weber School and relaxation exercises in cooperation with the initiative ”Physical Activity during School Recess“ of the Dietrich Grönemeyer Foundation and the Deichmann company. Furthermore, in the participating school classes in cooperation with the Techniker Krankenkasse the course “Loosen Up! – Stress Management for Children" is offered.

The two health insurance companies IKK classic and KKH, the organization diabetesDE - German Diabetes Aid, the Sports Department of Düsseldorf and other renowned partners and prominent people support the project and provide the participating school children with additional attractive venues for learning outside of school. The patron of the initiative is Thomas Geisel, mayor of the state capital Düsseldorf. In 2015 the SMS initiative was awarded the support logo of IN FORM, Germany’s initiative for a healthy diet and more exercise, and was awarded the GUT DRAUF label of the German Center for Health Education (BZgA).

For more information on the initiative, see: