Let’s get physical!

What is “Sport pour tous”?

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One of the great things about having a family in Luxembourg is that you’ll find activities on offer that will suit each budget.

The “Ville de Luxembourg” or City of Luxembourg (“VDL)” is always seeking to improve the quality of life of its citizens and recognises the importance of regular physical activity.  As a result they offer a wide variety of indoor, outdoor as well as aquatic fitness options through their program “Sport pour Tous” which translates as Fitness for everybody.  The program offers over 160 different fitness courses aimed at both residents of the city as well as non-residents and regardless of age, shape or physical ability.  These are grouped under three distinct categories, being Sport pour tous – Jeune (from 12-16 years), Sport pour tous – Adults (from 16 years) and Sport pour tous – Aînés (from 55 years).

Baby activities Luxembourg

What tickles us in particular is the “Gym Parents-Enfants/Eltern-Kind
Gymnastik” translated as parent-child fitness, hidden in the Adult category…

By viewing the page Sport pour tous – Adults, towards the middle of the page, just above the description of the three different types of activities, click on “Le programme des cours” in order to view the season’s classes on offer.

Gym Parents-Enfants currently on offer for toddlers (accompanied by their parents) are Mondays 16h-17h in Dommeldange for 1-2 year olds, Mondays 17h – 18h in Dommeldange for 2-4 year olds, Wednesdays 8:45 – 9:45 in Cessange for 1-4 year olds as well as Fridays 8:45  -9:45 in Rollingergrund for 1-4 year olds.  (Subject to change, please view the latest program.)

We set off to test the Monday classes offered in Dommeldange with the then 18 month old Amelie and 3 year old Lisa…

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The facilities

There are various sports halls used by the VDL and you have to be a bit of aIMG_2682 detective to find the exact location of the different classes.  You will find a list of the various sports halls including the public passport options here.  The Dommeldange sports hall is located in rue Nicolas Hein and is difficult to access by car from everywhere in route d’Echternach.  As a result we had to park in route d’Echternach and walk  500 m without baby carriers or strollers in stormy weather in order to reach our destination.  Don’t make the same mistake…  Should you come by car, be sure to enter from Rue de la Station.

The “vestiares” or dressing room facilities is spacious and clean. There are even some showers (open style) as well as hair dryers and a changing area.IMG_2691

Enter the sports hall.  Space and more space.  Perfect for toddlers to frolic and scurry around!

The first class was for 1-2 year olds and Amelie immediately took it upon herself to test the quality of the facilities while I introduced myself to the friendly instructor who comfortably conversed with me in English.

Let’s get physical!

The class starts with some casual ball kicking/playing/running around while we wait for everybody.  After about 15 minutes of free play, the instructor continues with the actual class in Luxembourgish which is not a problem at all for me and Amelie, even though neither of us are fluent.  It is easy to follow the lead from the rest of the group and as soon as someone really looks clueless, the instructor quickly switches to French or English until you show signs of comprehension.  Throughout the class, constant emphasis is placed on using simple Luxembourgish words, e.g. the colours of the markings on the floor, and we are often instructed to stand behind a particular coloured line and perform an action and then to move to a different coloured line.

There were no more than 12 other class members which is a comfortable size for this age group.  As parent, you are physically participating along with your baby, throughout the class.  A bit more than I expected… Make sure you are suitably dressed!  I won’t say that my dress was really appropriate to run around with Amelie, participate in a crawling race and eventually let Amelie practice her horse riding skills on my back (which proved highly popular)…IMG_2694

Amelie’s favourite part was the obstacle course (“parcours”) with mats, benches, mattresses and walking beams, strategically placed, to one-by-one, “challenge” the toddlers (with a parent by their side).

For the grande finale, everybody participated in putting away all the equipment and piling the mats on a big trolley. The toddlers (beaming with pride) were then placed behind each other on top of the trolley and as the trolley was wheeled to the equipment shed, we all sang:

“Bimlibim den Zuch fiert fort,
wien fiert mat?
Wien lo keng 50 Cents bezuelt,
deen huele mir net mat.”
Which translates into English:
Bimlibim the train takes off,
who’d like to join?
If you don’t pay your 50 cents now,
you won’t be able to come along.

The second class (right afterwards) for 2-4 year olds followed the same structure, though there was a huge difference.  There was at least 25 children, accompanied by their parents and quite often one parent with 2 children.

Some would call it a bit chaotic!  But without a doubt, each child thoroughly enjoyed this class which included several races back and forth, as well as ball kicking, rope play, hula-hoop tossing, mattress jumping and once again a full body workout for parents alike!

Registration and cost:

To attend any class, registration is mandatory.  Free trial sessions are not offered normally. For the purposes of writing this review article, we had to go through the registration process, attend the class and afterwards cancel the contract by telephone.

Registration is NOT so straight forward and is best left for a day when you had more than 5 hours of sleep…

To register: Complete the online forms in steps 1 to 4 here.  In step 3 you will choose the specific classes you would like to register for.  (Please note that you will be enrolled for the rest of the season currently running and not only for 1 class.)  The final step is to either sign your application electronically or print out, manually sign and then send by post to Service des sports, 5 rue de l’Abattoir, L-1111, Luxembourg.

We had to call the administration a week later to confirm whether our request has been approved but you may be lucky and could receive a confirmation by post.

Total cost per season works out as €30 for city inhabitants or €60 if you live elsewhere while an unlimited class pass per person, per year will cost €110 or €220 respectively.

You will receive an invoice for the full amount by post after having attended your first class.

For more information, send an e-mail to sports@vdl.lu or contact the administration directly at 4796-4400 or 4796-4414.


More about the Author

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As mother of two darling babies, Certified IMPI Holistic Sleep Coach, Baby Planner and Happiest Baby Educator, Marise Hyman provides worldwide maternity coaching for expecting/future/new parents through Marise Hyman Maternity Coaching – setting them up for success, so they can sail into their new lives with confidence!

She is also the founder of the Luxmama Club & ParentPrep, an edgy non-profit organisation raising awareness for green, natural & holistic parenting alternatives, birth rights and postnatal mood disorders by offering a variety of inspiring social and educational events in Luxembourg

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