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Better Fitness and Concentration

Press Release No. 4/2009
29 06 2009
Prize in the “365 Landmarks in the Land of Ideas” competition to be presented to the Heidelberg Ball School on 5 July
The Heidelberg Ball School is a programme developed by sport scientists to encourage and coach the ball-playing skills of youngsters of all abilities. Now in its 10th year, it has been singled out for an award in the framework of the “365 Landmarks in the Land of Ideas” competition. The prize will be presented during the Schaufenster des Sports (“Window on Sport”) event on the banks of the River Neckar on Sunday, 5 July. The presentation will take place from 1 p.m. to 1.30 p.m. Representatives of the press are cordially invited to attend. The competition is placed under the patronage of German Federal President Horst Köhler and has been run since 2006 by the “Germany – Land of Ideas” initiative and Deutsche Bank. This year there were over 2,000 entrants.

The prize will be presented by Peter Bertling, head of the corporate business section of Deutsche Bank, Mannheim. There will be an address by Heidelberg’s CEO Dr. Eckart Würzner and a panel discussion involving long-time sponsors of the Ball School, among them Dr. Manfred Lautenschläger (founder of MLP Germany and honorary senator of Heidelberg University), Anton Nagl (president of the local Anpfiff ins Leben soccer sponsorship drive), Bernhard Peters (sport director of the 1899 Hoffenheim premier-league soccer club) and a manager of the Capri-Sonne soft drinks company. Heidelberg University will be represented by Prof. Dr. Andreas Kruse, dean of the Faculty of Behavioural and Cultural Studies.

The Ball School is a programme devised at Heidelberg University and dating back to 1998. There are now over 7,000 youngsters taking part in the programme in Germany, Brazil, Chile Japan and South Africa. But it is still centrally located in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region. Here some 4,000 children between the age of 2 and 8 are given comprehensive basic training to enhance their skill in ball sports. One of the major aims is to counteract increasing physical fitness deficits in children. A recent study has shown that ball-related physical exercise not only helps youngsters to stay fit and slim but also improves their concentration, with highly beneficial repercussions on their overall performance in school.

The Ball School programme is implemented in nursery schools, primary schools and an increasing number of sports clubs. The “Window on Sport” function on 5 July provides an excellent opportunity to see it in action. Between 12 noon and 4 p.m. the instructors will be supervising an entertaining afternoon of games for all the children present. In addition, the cooperation partners will be offering attractive thematic events of their own that the children can take part in free of charge. There will also be stands informing the public about the various national and international offshoots of the Heidelberg Ball School.

Institute of Sport and Sport Science
Heidelberg University
Im Neuenheimer Feld 720
D-69120 Heidelberg
phone: +49 6221 544642/43

General inquiries from journalists should be addressed to
Heidelberg University
Communications and Marketing
Dr. Michael Schwarz
Public Information Officer

Irene Thewalt
phone: +49 6221 542311
Editor: Email
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