NORTHERN GERMANY: ONLINE SEMINAR SERIES ON RADICALISATION PREVENTION

Safe Zone Project

NORTHERN GERMANY: ONLINE SEMINAR SERIES ON RADICALISATION PREVENTION AND DEMOCRACY PROMOTION FOR COACHES IN YOUTH FOOTBALL – PROJECT „SAFE ZONE“ APRIL 2021.

“Dear ladies and gentlemen, dear sports friends, football is an important area of socialization and education for many young people and plays a significant role in their development. Unfortunately, sports clubs and their environments can also be a platform and stage for radicalization processes among young people. Coaches and volunteers in sports can therefore play a key role in prevention: They are the ones who have a relevant pedagogical role and accompany the young members in their development. However, radicalization processes are often difficult to detect and/or there is a lack of suitable means to counter them. To raise awareness of the issue, the SHFV, in cooperation with the CJD (www.cjd-nord.de), offers four online seminars, each with a repeat date, on radicalization prevention and democracy promotion in youth football. The project team at the CJD – Gloria Glogau and Eckart Müller-Bachmann – provides information relevant to the topic, outlines measures for preventing radicalization processes among young people in sports clubs, points out recommendations for action, provides learning materials, and answers questions in casual interaction with the participants. The online seminars are conducted via the BlueJeans Video Conferencing System. (…)”

These are the words of the organization’s consultant Andy Watzlawczyk and Paul Musiol (Qualification) to the interested coaches involved in the online seminars for football team coaches organized with the support of Schleswig-Holstein Football Association (SHFV).

Organized with a small number of participants (ten for each event), the seminars were largely designed as lectures, but nevertheless included interactive elements in which the coaches were able to briefly discuss aspects of the outline or describe their experiences with the issues addressed from their own training and match operations.

The participants were positively impressed by the theoretical content of the seminars and asked in individual contributions for an additional focus on the applicability of theoretical content in practice. The mentioned proportionality of theory and practice also reflects the greatest difficulty of the respective seminar concepts; on the one hand, the project team was not sure to what extent the conceived contents were too theory-laden, and on the other hand, they were also unsure how to guarantee practical applicability of individual topics in the online format of the seminars due to the pandemic.

Surely the final evaluation by the participants will be useful to understand how to best address this topic in the next meetings, and will give the opportunity to generate further insights useful for implementing the studies on this topic, thanks also to the interesting experiences that emerged from these seminars.