Spotlight: SmartDad Makes Finding Sports Programs Child’s PlayJanuary 7, 2014
Meet Aaron Finkel. He’s a third-generation native New Yorker living on the Upper West Side with his wife, Emily, and their two kids, Daniela (14) and Ricky (12). As someone who grew up in NYC and has two kids who are very active in sports, friends would constantly ask if he knew where their kids could play organized sports. Over time, Aaron noticed two things:
1. Parents are unaware of the different youth sports programs that exist across the city.
2. Parents miss deadlines to sign their kids up for sports programs.
“I myself once missed the deadline to sign up my son for flag football. Needless to say I felt horrible and the look of disappointment on his face was one I didn’t want to see again. I promised myself that I would never again miss another deadline for a sports activity and that I would help others do the same.”
To address these two problems, Aaron created New York Sports Connection – it brings together two communities: the community of people who play sports (or parents of kids to be exact) and the programs that organize the leagues, classes, and teams.
Ultimately, Aaron’s goal is that www.newyorksportsconnection.com will make life a little easier for parents of sports-playing children by first introducing them to all the different sports options that exist in the city, and second by helping them not miss deadlines to sign their kids up for the programs of their choice. A few clicks around the site will show you just how easy and intuitive it is to find everything from cheerleading to sailing, or access sports staples like soccer, basketball, and baseball. So take a look around, and if you have a suggestion, feel free to offer it up. The site is designed to be for the community and of the community, so expect new programs to be added and new site functions to be considered based on user feedback.
New York Sports Connection is on it’s way to being the go-to place for all of a family’s sports needs. Users can search a directory of sports options with over 650 program offerings and close to 50 different sports including options for children with special needs. They can also find private coaches, sell used equipment, find local places to buy gear, post and read comments of other parents, find locations for sports-themed birthday parties and find ways to get involved with local sports-focused non-profits.
To help keep parents abreast of important deadlines, users can register for the weekly e-newsletter. Every Tuesday this widely read newsletter lists upcoming, sign-up/registration periods, tryouts, clinics, school and summer break camps and other sports-related events in the city.
“Creating New York Sports Connection and making it into a resource for families is an exciting project for me as it combines three things I love — sports, New York City and communications. I was a journalist for most of my career and always enjoy being the place people turn to for information they need. In this case, I really wanted to put together a resource for overwhelmed parents in the city. I love the fact that I am helping parents discover programs they never knew existed while at the same time helping sports programs reach out to new people. It’s been great to watch the site and the newsletter grow, to read the positive feedback from our users and to see how New York Sports Connection is becoming a useful tool for parents.”
The Finkels are a fun-loving, close-knit and supportive family who use SmartSitting on an as-needed basis. To learn more about SmartSitting’s babysitting and nanny service, please call us at 646-396-0230 or fill out a Family Application.