ART Giants Team Motivates Primary School Children to Exercise

The children participating in the initiative “SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit." of the German Diabetes Center experience an introductory training session with players of the ART Giants pro basketball team.

The students of the KGS Josef-Kleesattel-Strasse and the Mosaikschule will certainly remember this sports lesson for a long time. Players and coaches of the ART Giants team visited both schools and conducted a professional training session with the children. In addition to various dribbling exercises and basket shooting practice, the children had the opportunity to ask the Düsseldorf players questions and get autographs. “The training session shall introduce the children from the participating schools to basketball as a sport and show them how much fun physical exercise can be,” said first chairman Dr. Tim Uhden, explaining the commitment of the ART Giants team. “With the SMS initiative, we want to encourage the participating children to exercise and maintain a balanced diet. Training sessions with professional athletes are an important component,” said project leader 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 children earn  their “aid” 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 experience the perception of their own body in the sensory classroom of the Präha Weber School in a motor skills training course. They are also taught relaxation exercises in cooperation with the initiative “Physical Activity during School Recess” of the Dietrich Grönemeyer Foundation and the Deichmann company.  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 in 2016 was awarded the GUT DRAUF label of the German Center for Health Education (BZgA).

Further information about the initiative is available at: