There are few things in life that beat the thrill of a soccer game. From the creativity of each pass to the harmony required to score a beautiful goal, soccer is a sport that strikes energizing awe in players and fans alike. On the field, teammates become family and spectators morph into an unfaltering support system. To play the game is, in many ways, to experience a sense of belonging.
Yet for most everyday adults looking to pursue that feeling on the field, finding a team or a league to play with is often no easy task. Without the easy logistical support of a school network or youth program, the search for a local pickup game can be tedious enough to turn people away from playing altogether. Javelin Sports is looking to change that.
“[Javelin] set out to answer the question ‘why do people have trouble playing sports when they are surrounded by them?’”
Sport in Aurora Magazine
Javelin Sports is a startup that provides web and mobile league management solutions to help sports organizations, and individuals, improve their organization and communication. Justin Ford and Coleman Chan founded the platform in March 2017 after leaving college and realizing that local sports games were no longer as easily accessible. Sports teams were scarce and game schedules were difficult to organize. Quickly, they found that many other people share these same sentiments. “The longer we spent working in the sports industry, the more we realized how many people feel [this] problem”, says Ford. “We wanted to remove the hassle involved in getting active”.
“Seeing sports slowly take a backseat to life, Justin Ford and Coleman Chan decided to step up and do something about it.”
StartUp Here Toronto
Coleman Chan (left) and Justin Ford (right) founded Javelin in 2017
Ford and Chan’s passion for changing lives through sports, along with the mentorship of Olympic Gold Medalist Donovan Bailey, has made Javelin a success in several North American cities, with thousands of players using the platform to find leagues, pickup games, and training groups including in the Bay Area. Through existing and budding partnerships with local leagues, Ford and Chan are optimistic about the sports communities that these collaborations are fostering. One of Javelin’s Bay Area pick-up groups already consists of nearly 150 soccer players, with the platform growing in popularity every day!
Built by athletes, for athletes, Javelin is here to help you play sports.
Javelin users are able to join pick-up groups and meet sports enthusiasts in their local communities with an easy click of a button. For those looking to join a game from time to time, communication via direct and group messaging makes it easy to stay up to date on game details. This is particularly helpful for sports, like soccer, that require large team coordination. Javelin also makes it easier for athletes to join and form local leagues. Through an integrated scheduling system, members can quickly check their upcoming events to ensure they never miss a game. In addition, coaches can track player availability, capture attendance quickly and accurately, display the latest team standings, and message their members to provide quick updates if any last-minute changes arise.
The list doesn’t end there—Javelin’s catalog of capabilities is only getting longer! The platform will be introducing features such as facility booking when you want to play a game, in the near future.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Javelin’s services are becoming increasingly relevant. Ford and Chan recognize the potential that their platform has to provide hope during what they call a “social isolation crisis”. The two founders believe that sports are communication-driven and integral to bringing people together, especially when they are at their lowest. “There's a lot of social fear or anxiety around joining a new group or playing with people you've never met before,” says Ford. “By facilitating that social connection, we've been seeing people get [more] comfortable”.
By focusing on the well-being of players and creating a space for players to meet, Javelin continues to spread a sense of belonging across communities. “At the end of the day, sports are social”, Ford says. ”We’re all about players.”