When athletes like Léon Schäfer race against all odds, physically and mentally, they are doing it not just for themselves, but for a whole generation of athletes to thrive in an inclusive culture.
When a female boxer like Zeina Nassar fights in a hijab for the first time, she is not just doing it for herself, but for a generation of girls daring to go after their dreams.
And when mavericks like Leroy Sané are playing it their way, celebrating diversity, they inspire a generation of kids to write their own legend as well.
You never do it just for yourself.
Directed by John Hillcoat, Nike’s “Helden” celebrates German athletes working hard on and off the pitch and track and in their communities to push society forward. “Du tust es nie nur für dich” (“You never do it just for yourself.”) is a celebration of sport’s incredible power to unite people and a call to all athletes, inspiring them to go beyond medals and trophies and to become heroes themselves.
In alignment with the campaign, Nike Germany will host Just Do It Sunday November 10 to help get Germany active and make sport a daily habit. Activations across Just Do it Sunday and beyond are open to all across the country; Nike Members will be able to gain additional benefits while moving for their cause or participating on the platform.
For more information on Nike Germany’s Just Do It Sunday, visit nike.com/de/Just-Do-It
Read on to learn more about the real heroes behind the film:
Zeina Nassar, boxer
Aside from fighting in the ring, Nassar has also fought to overturn a rule that disallowed women from competing in a head wrap. She won that fight too. Now, all female boxers are free to compete in a hijab.
Giulia Gwinn, footballer
With her opening goal for Germany on the world’s largest stage, Gwinn is giving women’s football more visibility and inspires other girls to believe in their dreams and do what they want to do.
Leroy Sané, footballer
Sané is a talented football player and, thanks to his attitude to play free and beyond his football skills, he represents the mindset of a new generation and the future of German football.
Léon Schäfer, track and field athlete
With an iron will and persistence to achieve his dream, Schäfer never takes “no” for an answer. He’s taking the best of life – and inspiring others to do so too.
Mario Götze, footballer
Götze became football’s chosen one when he scored the winning goal on the world’s largest stage at the age of 18. But for the midfielder, football is more than winning. It’s about never losing the mental game, and beating doubts to beat opponents.
Moe Wagner, basketball player
Wagner is the first Berliner ever to be drafted in the NBA after leaving home to play college ball in the United States. His fearlessness in taking risks and steping outside of the system inspires young athletes.
Mobina and Melika Nazari, skateboarders
After the sisters’ family fled Afghanistan, Mobina experienced head trauma stemming from a skate session and lost her memory – including her native tongue and the ability to recognize her parents. Her younger sister, Melika, took care of her, reintroducing her to skateboarding as a refuge amidst the lost memories. The sisters’ bond shows how sport can help you to get back on your feet.
Gesa Krause, track and field athlete
Five-time German Championship winner and 2000m world record holder, Krause inspires people to go after what you love no matter the circumstances or what others say.
Ariclenes Garcia aka LaQuéfa St. Laurent, dancer
St. Laurent is a 26-year-old dancer and activist who has quickly become a pioneering force in Berlin’s voguing scene. By investing his time and money into building a dedicated dance project, he’s teaching queer refugees voguing and forms of expression through movement.
Nazir Jaser, Yalmaz Habash, Tarek Al Moakee and Nabil Allaham, cyclists
These men are the epitome of resilience. All four were decorated cycling champions before war tore their homeland apart. Together with friends and relatives, some of the cyclists made the torturous journey to Europe, taking nothing but their passports, smartphones and a hope to continue their athletic careers. Through perseverance, resilience and an iron belief that sport can change your life no matter where you come from, the four have since returned to competition.
Türkiyemspor Berlin, inclusive football club
This fall, Türkiyemspor, a Kreuzberg-based football club that is also the largest women’s football hub in Berlin, celebrates the 15th anniversary of its women’s division. Since the division’s founding, the club has transformed the way girls perceive football. Whether it’s granting access for girls who would otherwise never be allowed to try the sport, or bringing in girls whose families want them to play in a safe sports environment, Türkiyemspor stands for equality and inclusion.
Alex Hipwell, coach
Hipwell’s unconventional training journey began with dance and evolved to figure athlete competitions. Finding a passion for fitness and personal training after years of dance, she quickly began winning figure athlete competitions on national and international levels. After becoming a certified personal trainer, she partnered with Nike to inspire more women to feel their best. Today, she is a Nike Master Trainer who is committed to teaching others the tools to find strength and self-esteem.
Additional Nike Grassroots Efforts Across Berlin
Nike actively invests in local communities. Together with its partners “Bunt Kickt Gut” and the “International Rescue Committee,” Nike has run the “Berlin Kickt” program for several years now. In five schools across Berlin, a team of volunteer coaches work to educate children about movement and to fuel their passion for sports and prepare them for a successful, self-determined life. Further partnerships exist with Skatehalle Berlin (“Nike SB Shelter”), the street work organization Gangway e.V. and the sports club Türkiyemspor Berlin 1978 e.V.