“I’m so happy that I can do exactly what I most enjoy doing.”
Verena Schweers, defensive player for the German national women’s football team, benefits from the maximum flexibility of the IUBH distance learning programme so that she can combine sports with studying. Right now, however, the professional athlete is focusing all her attention on the Women’s Football World Cup 2019.
Verena, how did you end up playing football and why is it so important for you?
Actually, I come from a table tennis family. My grandpa, my dad, my sister and I played at the TTC Kappel. After practice, the boys always played football – and I was the only girl who joined them. I enjoyed it so much that at the age of eleven I decided to start playing football. School friends took me along to the SC Kappel’s C-girl team practice – and I was immediately hooked.
The football team as a second family
Since I was 16, I have concentrated exclusively on playing football. At that time, I moved to Freiburg to a boarding school for sports. There I was able to commit myself professionally to football while I was still at school. I love the time with my team, and it is like a second family for me. The shared stories and memories are unforgettable. On top of that, I’m so happy that I can do exactly what I most enjoy doing.
Why are you studying at IUBH?
After finishing school, I completed a business-oriented vocational training. However, for my professional life after my football career I cannot imagine sitting in an office “from 9 to 5”. That’s why I’m working on establishing a foothold in the field of social work with a distance learning degree programme in social work. I decided to study at IUBH because I can flexibly organise my own schedule and take online exams wherever and whenever I like. Since I travel a lot for sports, distance learning was the only option for me.
You are currently playing on the national team at the Women’s Football World Cup. What does your daily routine look like? How do you manage the demands of sports and studying?
Before such a major championship, the focus is entirely on football. Studying is currently in “slumber mode”. A tournament like this is something extremely special that doesn’t happen every day and you want to enjoy it to the max.
When one thinks of football, one does not automatically think of social work. Why did you decide to pursue this particular course of studies?
I would like to pass on to children and young people what I learned from playing football – namely ambition, discipline and the importance of doing what you enjoy doing. Since I want to do this in the social work sector, it is very important for me to have the necessary academic qualifications.
What are your next goals – in terms of sports and studying? How do you envisage your professional future?
Due to many athletic events, such as the DFB Cup Final 2018, and a few trips, my academic studies have receded into the background recently. After the World Cup, however, I definitely want to get back on track. I generally try to set relatively small goals and try not to put too much pressure on myself. In terms of sports, I would like to continue to enjoy the momentum of success, before other private achievements push to the forefront in the next few years. I also want to help integrate the young players into the team and give them encouragement. It is also important for me to make a difference in German women’s football to increase the public’s appreciation and acceptance of the sport.