14 September 2017

Can't bowl, can't throw? Social sports club Urban Rec is for you

| Ian Bushnell
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ball on indoor court

An Urban Rec dodgeball game in Sydney. Canberra will be hosting its own leagues from mid-October.

Are you rubbish at games but still love your sport, especially the social side? Then sports club franchise Urban Rec may be your bag.

Originating in Vancouver, Canada, Urban Rec spread to Sydney where it has 8000 members and is now kicking off in Canberra.

Canberra operator Donald Thomas believes the sports loving capital with its steady stream of young workers from all over Australia will be a perfect fit for the Urban Rec model, which covers a range of different games and creates leagues where people can stay active, meet new friends and have fun.

Mr Thomas joined Urban Rec as an individual when he moved to Sydney and found it a great way to make friends quickly in a new environment.

“A lot of people are really busy and don’t want to train twice a week,” he said. “We get a lot of those people who can come quickly after work, play a game and go home.”

The 30-year-old full-time dad and former boot camp operator has since moved to Canberra to be closer to his wife’s family and has brought Urban Rec with him, after forging links with the Sydney owner. If it is successful other Australian cities may join the Urban Rec family.

He said offered sports included touch rugby, beach volleyball, soccer and games not played elsewhere such as dodgeball, as well as the multi-sport option, in which teams alternate between sports from week to week.

Teams or individuals can register for a fee which covers the placement in a league or team and venue hire but not personal injury insurance.

beach volleyball

Beginners and people who have never played sports are welcome.

“Urban Rec was founded by people who were picked last at school and didn’t want to go to the gym, didn’t want to be in a team where you dropped the ball and your team-mates looked at you horribly for losing the game for the team,” he said.

“It’s really about sportsmanship and having fun.”

There are no finals and teams also win ‘rec’ points for being good sports such as bringing oranges for the opposing team. The team with most rec points at the end of season gets the same prize as the winning team.

Urban Rec can also arrange special events such as corporate team building days, charity fundraisers and celebrations. There are also a range of membership perks.

Mr Thomas said dodgeball, street soccer, beach soccer, beach volleyball, multi-sport and beach touch footy leagues would be running from mid-October at Merici College and the Lyneham Beach Volleyball Facility.

The response so far has been promising and Mr Thomas believes there should be about 20 teams registered for Urban Rec’s official Beach Party launch at the Lyneham Beach Volleyball Facility on October 8.

He promises a fun party atmosphere and the opportunity to have a go at all the sports on offer.

For more details about the Canberra leagues go to https://sydney.urbanrec.com.au/about/canberra and for the Beach Party to https://sydney.urbanrec.com.au/tournaments/multisport/5847/beach-sports-party-canberra

You can also visit https://www.facebook.com/urbanreccanberra/

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