All the Americans do much sport at school especially football and cheerleading. That is the stereotype we have for American schools. But is that really true? A survey shall show the situation of sports in the Bartow-Bochum Exchange. We asked all the students being part of the exchange about the sports they play – with a surprising result:
90% of the German students do a sport but only 50% of the American students play one. Maybe the American students doing a sport are less interested in being part of an exchange. And maybe they have less time for things like that because they are practicing more often than the students in Germany. For example the football team practices from „Monday to Thursday“ (David Veytia, 16)
The most surprising result is that only one of the American students is a cheerleader and only one plays football. And they are both girls so there is no stereotype footballer. Instead of playing football 15% of the Americans play soccer, only one girl out of 20 Germans plays soccer. So does soccer become more popular in America and less in Germany or does this result just depend on the individual preferences of the exchange students? This might probably be true because the football games are celebrated very much.
In both countries the girls do more sports than the boys, in Bochum every girl does a sport and almost 70% of the boys. In Bartow 55% of the girls and 44% of the boys play a sport.
Four out of 20 American exchange students do two sports that is 40% of the Americans who do a sport. In contrast in Germany seven students do more than one sport that is also nearly 40%.
20% of the Americans and also Germans do swimming. In both countries it is at least one of the most popular sports. Swimming does not need that much space and in both countries the pools are already there. When there is no practice or competition the pools can be opened for the public and the city can earn some money. That might be a reason why in both countries the opportunities to swim are given and used. In addition to that in Bochum handball is also with 20% the most done sport. In contrast to that no American exchange student plays handball and many have not even heard of it.
The following sport in Bartow is soccer (15%). The other sports are just done by one person. In Germany there is more than only one sport in second place. Three out of twenty students dance, play tennis or go to fitness studios. None of the Americans does these sports. In Bochum there are two students playing badminton.
All in all there are nine different sports in Bartow and thirteen in Bochum. Three sports like swimming, soccer and volleyball are done by both countries and the others are just played by America or Germany. In Bochum the students e.g. play tennis, handball, badminton and they do jogging, athletics, etc. In America the students play e.g. frisbee, baseball and go fishing.
What is the difference in all these sports? Is there a difference? Maybe sports like fishing depend on the landscape. In Bochum there are not as many opportunities to go fishing as in Bartow because there live more people on a smaller area. The people live not that spread out with lakes between them. The sports in America mostly need much space like baseball or also flag-football. Bochum has more houses and less place to build big stadiums. It could only be around the city and that would mean long traveling times. Not many people are ready to drive a long time to get to their sports. And building these stadiums would mean a lot of costs. In Bochum there are not many people ready to spend a lot of money in sports especially when this sport is not very popular in Germany. Jogging is easier because you can run everywhere e.g. in some parks we have or just around the houses. We have got special gymnasiums for badminton but they can also be used for dancing or other sports done in gyms. Football needs a special stadium and can not be practiced in our normal stadiums. These special conditions for football create the costs nobody wants to pay for – so there is no football (and baseball) in Bochum.
In Bartow these stadiums are expensive to build, too. But in America sports like baseball and football are traditional. And the sports are more popular so that more people want to see it. They are normal and the stadiums already exist because many people like and play these sports. Even if a lot of American exchange students do not play football, we met many students doing it. The homecoming football game showed the popularity of football in America and the exchange students were there, too. Maybe many Americans prefer watching football and not to play it themselves.