Dual paths

to success.

Talent, school, pro sports.

Venue: the Geschwister-Scholl-Gesamtschule (GSG) school in Dortmund: "BVB's talented youngsters wouldn't be as successful on the pitch without the assistance of the three partner schools." That hits home. Such confident assertions are made by the headmasters and their teachers: professionals when it comes to teaching and developing personalities.

Matthias Röben, the Youth Academy's educational director, understands the practical challenges all too well. "Adding the stress of school to an already full schedule can have a negative impact on the pitch. Parents nowadays are looking for the complete package, and BVB is a good partner in this respect. That's why we get one or two more talented youngsters than other clubs."

Making up lost classroom time is a priority. "Our talented youngsters have two jobs: school and competitive sports – both are very time consuming. We try to find a strike a good balance for each lad," says Klaus Zielonka, GSG's headmaster.

Röben: "As unique as they are, the kids should experience normal school life. We purposely don't want to go the private school route, because that would prevent the lads from having everyday experiences. Becoming independent and working on projects, both are part of the "Dortmund lads" concept. Finding the motivation to create something special and building character while doing so, benefits all pupils." Achieving this requires a high degree of personal commitment.

Image: Headmaster Dr Markus Tendahl (Goethe-Gymnasium), Klaus Zielonka (GSG), Pascal Schäfer (Konrad-Klepping-Berufskolleg).