In January 2022, Svea and Maite Sturm will part ways for a long time for the first time: Then one twin sister will return to the USA, the other will stay in Waltrop.
It was 2016 when Svea Sturm spent a month in the USA during the big vacation, while her sister Maite stayed at home in Waltrop. But that was the only longer separation of the now 22-year-old twins.
The past four years, on the other hand, have been very intense for both of them. Because they received a sports scholarship to the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond. Svea began a business degree with a focus on finance, Maite a business administration degree, which is equivalent to the German business administration degree. What particularly appeals to the two of them about this stay abroad: That they are allowed to practice their beloved field hockey sport at a high level and at the same time receive a demanding training.
No lockdown like in Germany
Svea and Maite also put the coronavirus a line through the bill: On March 19, 2020 they caught one of the last flights to Germany. They continued their studies online and boarded the plane to the USA again at the beginning of August 2020. There, too, they only studied digitally, and the official season was also canceled. “During this time we were able to train – we only had to be in quarantine for two days and were tested twice a week,” says Maite. There was no officially confirmed corona case within their team. In addition, shops and restaurants remained open. “There was no hard lockdown there like in Germany,” says Svea. Only the mask and distance requirements applied equally there.
Then it was decided to make up for the failed hockey season in the spring. And the team was more successful than any other VCU before: because it was the first to finish the season. “And we made it into the top 20 of all hockey teams in the entire United States. No other VCU team had managed that before, ”says Svea proudly.
The scholarship is extended by one year
The sisters’ studies actually ended in May 2021. “Because of the canceled 2020 season, it was decided that we could still play the season in autumn. Our scholarship will be extended by one year, ”says Maite.
And this is where they part ways: Svea has her bachelor’s degree in her pocket.
She will remain an official scholarship holder until May 2022, but will remain in the United States beyond that. If everything goes well, she plans to do her master’s degree in December next year. “A semester there costs $ 38,000. I will then try to get an academic scholarship ”, announces Svea. And even then, she’ll be returning to the US after the mandatory Christmas vacation. A special work visa is required for this. Should she get that, she wants to spend another year across the Atlantic. “To gain work experience,” says Svea, who has now specialized entirely in finance.
Maite had already decided in September of last year not to graduate until December 2021. She then completely returns to Germany. Your goal is: to study sports management. Preferably online at a university in Amsterdam. Svea will also be returning to Waltrop over Christmas. But in mid-January she returned to the USA, while Maite stayed in Waltrop. How will that be? “Oh, that’s okay. It was clear to us that the jobs would eventually separate us, ”says Maite and Svea nods with a relaxed smile.
This is how the twins pursued the US election
- Svea and Maite Sturm experienced the change of power in the USA. “Our university is very democratic. There are a lot of black students there, ”says Svea. The two Waltroper women observed that the proportion of those who marched through the city with Biden flags was just as large as that of Trump supporters. “We noticed that white hockey players from the middle and upper classes – shaped by their parents’ house – clearly voted for Trump,” says Maite. “The international players – as well as us – were happy about Trump’s removal,” says Svea. You would have followed the voting decision. But they have not noticed a change in their everyday life in the past few months.
- Svea and Maite Sturm are training with their former team in Uhlenhorst / Mühlheim during their home visit. Maite will play there after her return at the end of 2021. The twins made a difference in the style of play compared to that in the USA. “In Germany they play faster, with more technique and tactics. In the US, the game is more athletic and therefore more physical. And the team spirit is more intense there, ”say Svea and Maite in unison.