“Have you seen Ewald Lenin?” For weeks, the murmur could be heard in the halls of the Schleswig youth facility as the FC St Pauli icon once again visited prison. The wing, the head, the target are actually the most beautiful secondary things in the world. Because Lienen and the football club from Hamburger Kiez are primarily interested in building bridges for young prisoners, which they can use to get into their lives after prison. “It’s about gaining momentum and getting help,” Lenin told NDR. “You can’t understand it if you keep looking in front of a wall, but if you get rushes from outside.”
St. Pauli honored with the Sepp Herberger Prize
About 130 young men and women between the ages of 16 and 24 are serving their sentences at the Schleswig Juvenile Institution. Some of them play on the “Kick-off for a new life” team, a national initiative of Sepp Herberger Foundation of the German Football Association (DFB). FC St. Pauli has sponsored the team for eight years. This year the club was awarded the Sepp Herberger Award in the rehabilitation category. The prize money is 12,500 euros, which, according to the club, goes directly to the project and sports equipment of the youth facility.
Lienen as a life teacher
The team trains every Friday. Lienen is mainly involved in the games – as a football expert, but above all as a valuable ambassador. “I try to pass on the experiences I’ve had, as a coach, but also as a person, to give them feedback,” he says. He wants to convey social values through sport: the ability to tolerate criticism, fairness, perseverance, the ability to “stick to rules, experience solidarity with one another, and steer things in the right direction”. There may not be a more suitable life teacher in football than the 68-year-old, a teacher in the best sense of the word. Anyone who has experienced how Lenin speaks urgently and argues convincingly will not soon forget it.
“After our last event with St. Pauli, it was talked about for nearly weeks. That was definitely the hype, a motivational boost going through the institution.”
Lars Wise, Sports Officer at Schleswig Correctional Facility
Especially since Lienen is known for his diverse social commitment – and also highly regarded behind bars. “After our last event with St. Pauli, we talked about it for about weeks,” says JA Athletic Officer Lars Wise. “That was definitely the hype, an impulse running through the establishment.”
Sport-WG and training near St. Pauli
Driven by a sense of potential to reach young people, Wise and his colleagues at the Schleswig Correctional Facility established a sports community in early April and developed a concept for how to introduce young prisoners to vocational training in this way. Here too, Saint Pauli is ready to help
“Internships would be an option, in addition to job shadowing, to establish reasonable connections again and reintegrate the young inmates, who would ultimately not be convicted, into normal social life,” says Natasha Claassen, who handles social affairs and community projects at FC St. . Pauli. A start in football can be a real new start in life for some.