With UEFA Euro 2012 soccer kicking off June, and the summer Olympics a month later, a season of world-class athleticism lies ahead. Harness that spectator sports adrenaline with a pumped-up event theme, energy-packed teambuilding activity, or an in-house company league.
There’s a lot to be gained – and stress-released – from throwing a ball to spiking it! Let the games begin by checking out these sporty sources:
Building on the success of its school and junior league programs, Toronto-based Aussie X recently launched its dynamic corporate teambuilding with a handshake deal on CBC’s Dragon’s Den. The aim is to introduce groups to the new, unique sporting experience of Aussie Rules football (footy), cricket and netball, while infusing learning with the same inspirational coaching strategies used by elite sports teams.
Programs are tailored to learning objectives and are suited to all levels of fitness. Held indoors or outdoors, sessions range from single to multiple day play. Add-ons include Aussie-style entertainment, participant gifts, and guest speakers including sports stars.
Toronto Sport & Social Club
Offering year-round recreational leagues for both co-ed and single-gender teams in 15 different sports, Toronto Sport & Social Club also organizes corporate athletic tournaments and intramural-like company or industry house leagues. Consider a floor hockey face-off between accounting and human resources. Or a weekly softball league that pitches corporate rivals together. Other sports options include soccer, dodgeball, golf, tennis and volleyball.
Toronto SSC handles all the logistics, from the equipment, venue bookings and scheduling to insurance, refereeing and timekeeping. Even a post-game pub gathering can be arranged in advance. The company also customizes events such as a mini-Olympics day.
Argonaut Rowing Club
Hone team synchronicity, and refine technique and performance under competitive conditions with corporate learn-to-row sessions at the Argonaut Rowing Club. Daylong programs include rowing instruction off and on the water, teambuilding facilitation and an end-of-day mini regatta. For added value, tap into the club’s tightly networked community to arrange for speakers such as Olympic rower Marnie McBean.
A corporate rowing league is in its infancy, offering Argonaut’s amenities, equipment and scheduling co-ordination for groups looking to put their own teams together. Pit oars against the club’s recreational crews, or race against other company teams. Unwind in the club’s lovely Henley Room (Capacity: 165 seated) with its 75-ft. terrace overlooking the water.
Downsview Park Sports Centre
It’s sporting time all the time at Downsview Park Sports Centre , the sprawling multiplex home to a diverse range of recreational and sports facilities and organizations including the Toronto School of Circus Arts, True North Climbing, HoopDome, and Volleyball Canada. Each venue offers loads of options for facility rental and corporate play.
Sports leagues compete out of The Hangar, the “heart” of the park’s athletic prowess. Four indoor and three outdoor fields are available for a wide variety of games, from soccer, football, field hockey and ultimate Frisbee. There’s also a ball hockey arena and two indoor beach volleyball courts. Call on The Hangar’s planning team to organize corporate league games or to co-ordinate activity days that combine a mash up of several sports and challenges. Afterwards, host the gang in the 80-seat Hangar Grill or stage an awards ceremony in the venue’s lobby.
Toronto Bicycle Tours
In its second season, Toronto Bicycle Tours puts groups on wheels year-round for full and half-day excursions around the city. Depending on fitness level and purpose, guided tours, from two to 30+ people, can be a leisurely pedal around neighbourhoods and bike paths, or more hardcore skill riding along trails that crank up the workout level.
An eco-friendly way to connect people with Toronto, bike tours can be custom-designed for a good cross-section of the city’s vistas and landmarks with guides offering up plenty of conversation and trivia. Supplied helmets and upright hybrid bikes are fitted to each participant. Lunch and water are also included.
Golf Tournaments Incorporated
Hitting the links is definitely one of summer’s highlights and a great way to build relationships while playing a round. Golf Tournaments Incorporated, a full-service golf event management firm, puts your ball on the green for a day’s VIP outing or full-fledged tourney. Event co-ordination includes golf course booking, registration, and set-up.
Based on event needs and player numbers, the company customizes the day, from spotlighting sponsors – 95% of its work is with charity tournaments – to recommending best play format and skill contests at each hole. GTI also does the legwork in sourcing branded golf gear and putting together prize packages, including hole-in-one incentives. They can also bring in golf pros for pre-tourney warm ups and tips.