Bonn The Bonn-Rhein-Sieg Juggers are celebrating their 100th club member. The junior section is growing, as more and more children are interested in this exotic sport.
“Three, two, one, jugger!” When Elaine (eight) and Simone (eleven) hear this command, they run straight at Luca (nine) and Tony (eleven) with their foam bats. Elaine tries to knock Luca over with her so-called pompfen, the plaything of every jugger, but Luca fights back. “Nice block, Luca!” praises Jonas Breull-Wierschem. Together with Florian Krudewig, he leads the training for the Little Juggmen, the junior division of the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg Juggers, twice a week on the lawns at Poppelsdorfer Allee.
“We are proud of our children's and youth team,” says Til Kuhlemann-Lages, press spokesman for the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg Juggers. It is just five years ago that the club was founded and the adult juggers started to train for bigger tournaments as well. Two children had seen them training and were curious about the football-like team sport. This marked the birth of the junior section of the Bonn club. Today, the adult club members train three times a week on the Hofgartenwiese and have just as much fun chasing each other with the padded sports equipment as the children do.
“A game like this is like a big pillow fight,” says Kuhlemann-Lages. In each team there is a runner who has to obtain the match ball, the jugg, and get it into the opponent's goal. While the opposing players have to prevent this, the players from their own team help their runner by clearing the way and giving the opposing players penalty seconds by touching them with the pompfen, or weapons.
Luca is brand new at the club. In one of his first training sessions, the coach gives him lots of tips: “Don't hit the weapons, but try to hit the opponent. I am the opponent, not the pompfe," Breull-Wierschem explains to him. Simone has a little more experience and is already skilled in using the long pompfe. She is also very good at fending off an attack. During today's training session, she gets to try her hand as a chain player for the first time. As a so-called chain jugger, she holds a cord in her hand with a foam ball attached to the end. The aim is to hit the opponent with this. Simone immediately follows the advice on how to gain momentum with the cord and manages to score a point against her coach straight away.
At the end of the training, Simone receives a surprise. The eleven-year-old, who joined the Bonn Little Juggmen children's team shortly before the latest lockdown, is the 100th member of the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg Jugger club. To mark this special occasion, Simone receives a certificate as well as a brand new children's long pompfe. She found the Little Juggmen by chance. “There was once a sports festival on the Marktplatz. That's when I first heard about the juggers. Then I saw them playing here on Poppelsdorfer Allee and I wanted to try it out myself,” Simone reports. After several hours of training, she remains enthusiastic about the team sport, which is still very exotic in this country. “When you play, you always have to react quickly because you can get knocked over very quickly. When you have knocked over an opponent yourself, you have to run straight to the next opponent,” Simone explains and is particularly looking forward to the next training session after her receiving her award.
Further information and contact details for the Jugger club can be found (in German) at www.jugger-bonn.de.
(Original text: Sebastian Fink, Translation: Caroline Kusch)