Besides the messages, worship, seminars and workshops, there are a lot of sports activities that many of the teens are involved in. The fields on the TeenStreet site are full of teens playing or waiting until it’s their turn. The heat doesn’t matter, just goals or points.
“Sports are similar to the teens’ home situations. They are familiar with sports in school or in clubs. The other events here at TeenStreet are extraordinary for them,” says Jens Schering, the leader of Sports.
“Societies everywhere recognize, that in sports, everybody sees the worst of everyone,” Jens explained to the teens. “We have to be different and to be a light in sports. Jesus is sitting on the bleachers and cheers for us. We want to make him proud!”
For Jens, playing sports has an important thing in common with a Christian lifestyle: you have to train hard to be good, even if you aren’t keen on it sometimes. “Just as I have to work on my relationship with Jesus to deepen it,” said Jens, “even if I don’t feel like it.”
Jens explains the aim of Sports at TeenStreet is equipping the teens with a routine that is natural to live their faith out in sports. “We pray before every match, also for our opponent, said Jens. “That changes the view on the opponent and how we treat him.”
One of Jens’ favourite moments is when the teens suddenly pray before a match, without it being asked of them. The excitement and the passion for sports that you can see in the faces of the teens are a really big highlight for the Sports staff.
Sports offers >>MORE than games. Various seminars about team spirit, fair play and submitting to authority are offered to the teens. “I liked the fair play seminar,” said Tani (NL). “Fair play is important to me.”
We asked some of the teens why they participate in sports and if they could apply anything they learned back home.
“I learned how much you depend on others playing basketball. It doesn’t pay to play selfish. We have to trust each other in a team.” Steffany, 17, Sweden
“I learned that we need to have self-control during the game. I tried to apply that.” Ida-Maria, 15, Sweden
“I’m doing Sports here, because through sports, relationships can grow and deepen. The prayer before the match was new to me, but it’s good doing it!” Denis, 16, Portugal