From Player to Organizer: Here’s how I Organized my First Event through OpenSports

Organizing your first event can be nerve wracking, but in the end it’s all worth it! Here’s my experience organizing my first pick up soccer game in Toronto

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All smiles for morning pick up! Here’s Alicia and I at the field

How it all started ⚽️

I (Alex) have been working at OpenSports for about three months now and have been loving every moment of it. I’ve watched Alicia talk to organizers and organize a handful of events and I’ve spoken to some organizers myself. One of my goals during my internship with OpenSports was to organize a few pick up games to get to know more of the Toronto Soccer Community and be able to play some footy too.

So, once the polar freeze in TO subsided a bit and we started to have consistently decent weather, Yash organized the first outdoor pick up game of the year on a Monday Morning at 10am and it was great! There were about 22 people who came to play some pick up before work, school, or on their day off. We played for about two hours and everyone was in such a great mood. The excitement over the first outdoor pickup game of the season was real! It was nice to meet some new people and start the day off playing soccer 😊

Why I Wanted to Become an Organizer ⭐️

Having played in one of my first OpenSports pick up games, I was inspired and wanted to play more, but as the week went on, there still was no game posted for the following Monday! I contemplated if I wanted to create one, but was nervous since I have never been an organizer… I thought that people weren’t going to show up 😞 After a little bit of convincing from Jake and Alicia, I decided I was going to organize my first game!

Since everyone loved the Monday morning pickup soccer game at the University of Toronto’s back campus fields, I decided I would repeat it again through OpenSports’ incredibly easy “Create a Game” process. Now I just needed some players to join…

My Biggest Fear: Will Any Players Join My Game? 🙀

With the tap of a button, I clicked “Invite All” to invite everybody in Toronto’s “Weekday Morning Pickup Soccer Group” to my game, and since the game was public, all other local soccer players on OpenSports were able to see my game post as well.

Within 5 minutes three players already joined!! I know that may not sound like a lot, but I was so excited. Being an organizer was awesome, the feeling I got when people continuously started to join my game was something I can’t explain. Every time I got a notification I would smile or tell Alicia and she would chuckle because I was just so happy. Alicia was secretly writing down all of my little outbursts of excitement because she thought it would make good “Ad Copy”…ohh marketers🙄!

As Monday approached I had 26 people join the game and man was I a happy organizer. I knew I had a lot of people that were counting on me to make sure the game ran smoothly, so any questions in the game chat, I made sure I answered swiftly to ensure everyone knew what was going on.

Game Time ⚽️

Monday is here woo! Usually I have Monday blues, but today I was so excited to get out on the field and organize my first game. I bought a ball pump, in case anyone wanted to pump up their balls and Alicia brought me some cones to set up nets and line the field. I showed up about 10 minutes early to make sure I caught everyone’s name and introduced myself to anyone I haven’t met. I made sure teams were organized and had equal numbers. Everyone seemed really pleased with the teams and we played for two hours! I was so happy everyone enjoyed themselves and had a fun time at my first game.

Once the game was over and I packed up, I thought the feeling of my first organized game would go away. The excitement and happiness I had was going to be over. When I got back to the office, I started to get some notifications from OpenSports and I wasn’t sure what is was, but lone and behold it was some reviews. Five stars!! Man, that feeling of happiness and excitement is back. I was trying to be calm on the outside, but was totally jumping up and down and screaming like a 12 year old girl at a Justin Bieber concert on the inside. I ended up with five reviews, and they were all very positive. Getting that feedback ,definitely gave me confidence to continue to create games and build up my organizer rep.

What I Learned 📝

I never thought I would be one to organize a game, especially with people who I don’t know. I’m more of a person who would show up to play and not have to worry about anything else, but my key takeaways from organizing my first game are:

  • Being an organizer is amazing!!!
  • I am totally a pro at organizing games now (not really, but really)
  • Meeting new people and bonding over soccer is a great feeling
  • Make sure you bring extra equipment (cones, pump, extra shirts) — you can never be overprepared
  • OpenSports makes organizing games so seamless and easy
  • I will totally be organizing more games in the future

If you want to learn how to become an organizer yourself or join in on our Monday pick-up game feel free to email me: alex@opensports.ca ❤

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Inspiring stories about organizing and playing pick-up/drop-in sports. Create and find games on our amazing app & website 🏀⚽️🏐🎾🏃🏼 https://opensports.net

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