Nele Schultz is sophomore at Owen High School and foreign exchange student from Germany. She played for the school’s tennis, basketball, and softball teams this year. The Black Mountain News had the chance to sit down and talk to her about her athletic experience at the school and what it was like learning new sports in a different country.
Black Mountain News: What sports did you play in Germany?
Nele Schultz: I played handball, volleyball and tennis.
BMN: What are some of the differences in sports in the U.S. and sports in Germany?
Schultz: America has school sports that take place right after school. That’s great for bonding and learning sportsmanship. In Germany there are club sports that you can do after school. During the week in Germany I will play three different kind of sports.
BMN: What sports did you play at Owen that you had not played before?
Schultz: Basketball and softball. I was a tiny bit familiar with basketball from playing it in P.E. in Germany.
BMN: What was your basketball experience like here?
Schultz: It was hard to pick up. It’s not my sport. I picked it up pretty well, but I think I did better in softball and tennis.
BMN: The first sport you played for Owen was tennis, which was a sport that you were already familiar with. Do you think playing on the tennis team helped you adjust to life in the U.S.?
Schultz: Yes. It was definitely helpful because I was successful during tennis season. I went to regionals. It really helped me understand how things work here. It was definitely better than doing something completely new during my completely new American experience.
BMN: Do you feel participating in sports during your time here helped you make friends?
Schultz: Yes, definitely. When I came here in the fall, I became close to some of my tennis friends.
Every sport I have played has had a different group of people that I have gotten to know. That made a big difference.
BMN: What made you decide to play softball after having never played it in your life?
Schultz: I wanted to try something new. The American experience.
BMN: What did you enjoy most about playing the game?
Schultz: Just learning a new sport that is completely new to me.
I got to learn all of the rules and how it works. It was so fun because it was so different from the sports I’ve already played.
BMN: What were some of the most difficult things about learning to play softball?
Schultz: For me it was batting. It’s so frustrating when you don’t hit the ball when you swing. But I did pretty well, I guess.
BMN: What has been your favorite sports memory here at Owen?
Schultz: I think senior nights. Each season they honored me with the seniors even though I’m not a senior.
It really showed me how much they appreciated me being there and how much people supported the teams.
And the survey says...
Hobbies: Making friends, doing activities outside like rafting and hiking
Favorite food: In America you guys have really good Chinese and Mexican food and those became my favorite.
Favorite subject: Advanced Physical Education
Favorite singer: Ariana Grande