I spent my overseas internship organizing soccer (football) games. Here’s how I did it.

Before making the trip from France to Toronto this summer, I had never touched a soccer ball before

Originally published August 15, 2019.

I am Maelle, a 21 year old business student, swimmer, and I’m a cheerleader! Before making the trip from France to Toronto this summer, I had never touched a soccer ball before.

During my internship at OpenSports in Toronto, I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. So, I decided to organize a soccer game on OpenSports that would enable me to meet new people, and discover a sport I didn’t play. As an added bonus, I really liked the idea of linking work and fun because I was working all day on the French version of the platform without really using it in everyday life.

Becoming an event creator is easy

What I discovered in the process is how easy it is to organize events — even when you don’t play the sport! I hope to enable new organizers to be more confident when they organize their first event on OpenSports. It’s a simple three-step process:

1.Create the event on OpenSports

Thanks to the OpenSports event creation form, I was able to create my first event very easily and quickly! Once I had found the date, time and place, it took me less than five minutes to create my event, give it a title, write a short description and define the number of players.

2. Find Players

Creating an event is not everything…. I had planned to organize a soccer game, so I had to find footballers! Since I arrived in Toronto, I had joined several Facebook groups of expats who were looking for new people to meet or exchanging good deals about the city. I turned myself to these groups to find players.

I wrote a post on Facebook with all the important details about the game (date, time, place), I included the URL address of my event on OpenSports so that interested players could register and I made it clear that it was absolutely necessary to RSVP on this link to participate at the game! This is a very important point for you, the organizer, to make clear when you share your event on other platforms, because it allows you to know how many people will be present!

3. Keep in touch with players the day before the game

I had opened 20 spots when I created the game four days in advance. The night before the game, 16 spots were taken, however, on the day of the game, 10 people came…

When it comes to free games, what I learned is that an important step to avoid last-minute withdrawals or no-shows is to confirm with players that the event will take place. This is a very easy step to achieve with the event chat on OpenSports, where you can communicate with attendees directly. A short message to all participants the day before, it costs nothing and allows you to anticipate possible no shows! :)

Game Day!

Here’s the 10 players who showed up, including myself, on the first game that I ever organized!

That’s it, it was the big day! Friday 10:30 a.m. I arrived on the field, with nothing but inexpensive nets and a ball, ready to meet all the players who were registered for my event and who were ready to play soccer! The great thing about organizing this kind of event is that people come with a big smile and all their good humour. We played a 5 v 5 game until noon. After the match we discussed a lot about soccer — of course — but also about OpenSports and the concept of a pickup game. I had a really good time and met some great players!

When you organize your first event with OpenSports you really go through several emotions. There is the satisfaction of having created your event super easily on the app, the worry of not having enough players for the game day, but above all the joy of having organized an event that allows people to practice the sport they love and get together!

Now, I have translated a popular sports app and website (thousands of lines of text), hundreds of blogs, reached out to hundreds of sports groups in France and Montreal, and organized games for others in my shoes: those who are new to the city! If you want to organize games in your city, I encourage you to create a group at www.opensports.net . You will be contacted by the OpenSports Help Robot who will help you achieve the same thing that I did in Toronto!