Over 4,000 children and young people participate in buntkicktgut all over Germany
Bunt Kickt Gut
Considering the large number of refugees around the world, as well as in Germany, we would like to report on the very special project of buntkicktgut in the sports sector. Buntkicktgut is a project regarding intercultural understand, and in its existing form and dimension, a unique example of organized street football in Europe.
The goal of the initiative is to give young people of various cultural and national backgrounds a meaningful and healthy leisure activity and to open up opportunities for social and cultural learning.
Co-founder and leader of buntkicktgut, Rüdiger Heid wrote the following about the project:
Even after 20 years of buntkicktgut, I find it fascinating again and again to see the enthusiasm that football incites in children and adolescents. What an incredible power is put inside of it and comes from it. I experience this every day on the football ground, where our boys and girls play. I really don’t need anything else anymore. As soon as the ball comes into play, everyone knows what is to be done, what is going on. A reason to run, fight, jump, dribble, shot, curse, become elated, and celebrate for. In Munich alone, we have more than 2,500 participants per year in over 200 teams from more than 100 different countries of origin. Football brings them all together, speaking the same language. And that’s how it’s been since 1996. At that time buntkicktgut was developed from the wave of refugees during the Yugoslavian war. My former colleagues and refugee caretakers Hans-Peter Niessner, Memo Arikan, and I came up with the idea of solving intercultural problems and breaking down language barriers among the young people. Today, the intercultural street football league is there for everyone, moving with young people between the ages of seven and 22, and is quite playful for integration. In addition to Munich, we have additional locations in Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Würzburg, Berlin, and Niederbayern (Southern Bavaria). More than 4,000 children and teenagers participate in buntkicktgut in all of Germany, taking part in over 50 training sessions per week and 250 game days per year.
In the process, buntkicktgut is a street football league for children and by children. Participation is a very important and crucial principle of our concept. Our boys and girls have their own league council which solves conflicts during the summer and winter seasons and decides on suspensions, rules, and exceptions. In our magazine, “buntkicker”, boys and girls can write game reports, interviews or reports. We also organize intercultural summer camps for the strengthening of European thought. It takes place in different European countries like France, Hungary or Serbia. So it’s not just about scoring goals on the pitch. We want to move, stimulate, and demand more than just physical work, but also the mental aspect in tandem with motivating the spirit of the children. We strive to do all of this without pressure or constraint.
Out of this freedom grows trust and a special identification with buntkicktgut. So, I am happy every time when the children come to my office and tell me of their everyday worries at school, with their parents, or on the football pitch. We are a big family that is there for our players who often come from difficult social conditions. Finally, I would like to tell the children not only about respect, fair play and nonviolent conflict resolution, but also to set an example for them.