What if we told you that you could make up for those years in high school that you never got to try out for football or volleyball? And that you could do it with other adults in the city?
Austin Sports & Social Club (Austin SSC) has been a leader in this era of outdoor sports organizations in the city since 2005. With an overriding focus on the community and culture of their recreational sports offerings, Austin SSC has become one of the largest organizations in the city and has grown to include an Austin SSC kids division in recent years.
With a wide range of offerings, including volleyball, flag football, pickleball and everything in between, Austin SSC has something for everyone. However, their most popular sports are kickball and sand volleyball, with their social events coming in a close third.
In lieu of tending to many adults who now get to explore the sports they never got the opportunity to play when they were younger, Austin SSC welcomes every skill level on their teams. But the sporting events are only half of it — their main goal is creating an active community, where everyone is welcome and having a good time.
Rachel Hogan, the marketing and business development manager of Austin SSC, says they love getting to cultivate community among the adults in the city while providing a space to be active.
“At the end of the day, everyone is out there to have fun, get a workout in, take their mind off the work day and enjoy an iced cold beer,” Hogan says.
While many people join a team with a group of friends, oftentimes teams comprise people looking to make new friends. When Austinites sign up solo, they’re added to a team with a similar age group, and that team typically continues to play and hang out together long after that first season.
With all the out-of-state transplants who find their way to Austin, Hogan says having a space to build friendships is important.
“We know making social connections in a large city can be tough,” Hogan says. “Which is why we place you on teams (with) like-aged individuals so you can form connections and friendships on day one.”
To encourage a culture of fun and camaraderie, Austin SSC not only treats each game as a party — with referees blasting music and lots of dancing — but also hosts many community social events, from holiday party barges to tailgating at Texas football games to group ski trips.
Austin SSC also provides corporate team-building activities, with an offering of tournaments, single field day events and races. A great way to build community within your existing work culture, Austin SSC carefully plans these events to work with employees of any skill level and demographic so everyone can participate and have a good time.
With the addition of their kids’ division, children as young as 2 to 3 years old can socialize and stay active. They’ve also created a nonprofit called Sports For All, which provides a space for learning the basics of sports in a safe environment as well as allows children who wouldn’t be able to afford summer sports camp to participate.
“The eventual goal is to bring some of these leagues directly to the underserved communities,” Hogan says. “(We want to) maximize the opportunities given to children to realize the power and growth that comes from team sports.”
With its strong focus on building community for all ages, exposing more children to group sports and providing not just physical activity but fun for all skill levels and demographics, Austin SSC has cemented its spot as one of the largest outdoor fitness organizations, with wide-ranging activity options in all corners of the city. Come out, make a new friend, play a new sport and have fun!
About the Author
Sarah Leahy, CPT is a Minneapolis transplant in East Austin, certified personal trainer, award-winning interior designer and former gym owner. She offers in-person and online training with an emphasis on strength training and building confidence in and out of the gym. Leahy’s passion for strength extends to your business, with a full offering of gym design and business consulting services.