OpenSports: A big international trip in every game
This popular sports app is helping newcomers like me play sports, meet new people, and feel less alone
I was in Toronto and I wanted to play sports and meet people who had a similar experience as me, living in a foreign country. So, I used the OpenSports app — an international “pickup sports” app that allows people to play their favourite sport even when they are far from home — to organize games and meet new people! I used the Facebook groups of expatriates/expats in Toronto that I was part of to find participants. Read here to learn how easy it was to organize my first game!
More than just a sports app
This experience made me realize that the strength of OpenSports goes far beyond simply managing a sports group or organizing events. It is an application that allows people to meet and gather, and importantly, connect with each other!
While organizing this football game, I met new people and made new friends in Toronto. These meet ups made me feel less alone in a city where I didn’t know many people. Afterwards, I had the opportunity to see them again, to share other moments with them like having lunch together after the games, and to become real friends!
An amazing tool for newcomers
In big cities, there are always a lot of young people who come from foreign countries, who are alone and want to meet new people. So imagine if in every city in the world there is a group on OpenSports that allows those newcomers to both play sports and meet new people! It is not easy to arrive in a new country or a new city. This kind of group on OpenSports could facilitate their integration!
Organizing a football, basketball or volleyball match with players from all over the world is like making a big international trip in one game! The sport’s power is the relations it creates between strangers, and the unconditional joy it brings to players of all skill levels, genders and nationalities.
All this reminds me of a quote from the Greek philosopher Plato: You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.