Not least because of the successful German NBA pros Dirk Nowitzki and Dennis Schröder, basketball is becoming an increasingly popular sport in Germany as well. Recently the children participating in the initiative “SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit.” were given the opportunity to get acquainted with this sport in a professional training session with the Düsseldorf Giants. For several years the Giants have been helping to carry out sports projects in the Düsseldorf region and since this school year have supported the SMS initiative. “In our day-to-day work we are confronted again and again with the negative consequences of an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise on the mental and physical development of children and adolescents,” said 1st Chairman Dr. Tim Uhden, explaining the reason for the Giants’ commitment. “Current statistics show that only 15 percent of all children and adolescents are physically active for more than one hour a day. With the SMS initiative we want to counteract this lack of exercise,” said Prof. Dr. Karsten Müssig, who heads the project. The SMS initiative aims to motivate children to exercise more and to eat a healthier diet. In the long term, the initiative shall raise awareness for a balanced lifestyle in order to prevent the development of obesity and life-style related diseases such as diabetes.
The initiative “SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit.” led by Professor Karsten Müssig is aimed at children in Düsseldorf primary schools and since this school year also primary schools in Cologne. The participating children receive extra lessons on nutrition 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 Dr. Kerstin Ketelhut. The two health insurance companies IKK classic and KKH, the organization diabetesDE - German Diabetes Aid, renowned partners and prominent people support the project and provide the children with very attractive venues for learning outside of school. The patron is Thomas Geisel, mayor of the state capital of Düsseldorf.
More information on the initiative can be found at: www.sms-mach-mit.de