By Tori Taylor, July 22 2019 —
There are several different organizations in Calgary that offer recreational slo-pitch teams. It’s a summertime activity that brings in a ton of locals who want to be active and meet new people. I haven’t actually joined in on the fun — yet. But, after witnessing the hype from a few friends and cheering them on in their first game, I’m sold on the excitement. In an age of online dating apps and text-based friendships, it is refreshing to have other options for new connections.
Calgary Sport and Social Club (CSSC) has 650+ co-ed teams ranging in competitive levels from recreational to intermediate. You don’t need any previous experience in the sport nor do you need to be super athletic. All you have to do is show up with excitement and a good attitude. CSSC even supports after-game team bonding by giving teams a list of partner restaurants bars that offer drink and food specials to all of their players. It’s hard to turn down a couple of fun active hours paired with nachos and a jug of beer. Slo-pitch offers an interactive social opportunity to make new friends as an adult. And we all know how difficult that truly is. Unless you are the fearless soul striking up conversations with people in line at the coffee shop — praying to god they don’t stare at you like the predator they for sure think you are — the bulk of us are not stepping outside of our bubbles.
“It’s definitely a great social outlet if you are new to the city and want to meet more people,” says Brittany Butt — a downtown Calgary resident who recently started playing slo-pitch.
“Or if you’re not new but want to get out of the house and be more active within your own community. I find that it’s so hard to meet new people as an adult and this is the perfect way. I got to join a sport and I’ve been making new friends at the same time”.
The slo-pitch community is all about inclusivity. Butt heavily recommended CSSC as a starting place because of the range they offer in skill level.
“The Calgary Sport and Social Club is really good with categorizing the level of playing experience,” she said. “So if you’re new to the game you don’t have to worry about not being good enough. They’ll place you with similar skill-leveled people who are also new to the game. Don’t feel worried about previous experience. Everybody is welcome to play. I think it’s great to start small and work your way up to the more competitive leagues”.
It’s important to know that when you start a new activity, especially as an adult, feeling nervous and intimidated is normal. If you are feeling hesitant, don’t worry — it’s guaranteed that a large chunk of your team is feeling the same way. Rip that Band-Aid off and just go enjoy yourself.
“I am a very social person and I would call myself out going. But l was definitely nervous to join a team of people I’d never met,” explains Butt. “I was worried about whether or not I would be good enough for the team. If I felt nervous then there were probably other people feeling nervous too. Honestly, my insecurities disappeared right away. I’ve been playing for a couple weeks now and I’m really loving it. My team is very friendly and we play well together”.
If finding some new friends, sweating with a little bit with friendly competition and enjoying drinks and food post-game are something you could get into then slo-pitch might just be your next best thing.