Sportable

There was a time, long ago, where apps didn’t exist. It was a simpler time, a time where people could watch TV, completely free of distractions. A time where meeting up with someone had to be planned well in advance. They couldn’t decide at the last-minute that they wouldn’t be able to turn up. If they did you’d inevitably be sat in a cinema foyer for an hour alone, or huddled under a shop doorway, hope slowly leaving you as the minutes tick away.

Nowadays we have the internet, we have mobile phones, we have GPS tracking systems that tell people exactly where we are. Organising meetings and events is pretty damn easy these days. That is unless you’re the person who has to organise it.

Most of us have had first hand experience of trying to organise some sort of meet up. Maybe it was a stag do, maybe it was a surprise birthday party, or maybe – and this is where Sportable comes in – it was some sort of sporting or fitness event.

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The problem with organising sports is that, more often than not, you need a requisite number of people to play. If people don’t turn up it causes problems. You end up with a long email chain of people chatting about where to meet, what time, and who’s doing what. Some people don’t like to get in on the email action and you have to text or ring them so they’re in the loop. Others forget the address and you end up working as an information point, relaying the same facts over and over again.

Sportable is designed to solve that problem. Simply download the app, get your friends involved, set up an event and invite them to join you. You set the sport, the time and the place and share it. A nice simple central location for all your sporting needs. There’s even a handy chat feature allowing your chosen crew to politely discuss or berate each other before the ensuing event.

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It’s a new app, still undergoing a number of feature upgrades. Perhaps the most interesting being a discover option which allows individuals to join open events in their area. Maybe you’ve set up a football match and one of your friends has pulled out. No problem, make the match discoverable and wait for someone to turn up. No more odd numbers.

How do we know it works? Well, we tested it out with a few other like-minded fitness journalists and bloggers. The place: Timberyard, Old Street. The time: 6.15pm. The event: A 5k run around the area followed by some light chat. All planned using the Sportable app.

Our guide for the meet-up was fitness legend and all-round great person, Amy Hughes. Perhaps better known for her challenge 53:53 where she ran 53 marathons in 53 cities and towns around the UK in 53 consecutive days. She probably knows a bit more about running than we do, even taking us through some dynamic warm-up stretches before the run.

You’ll be pleased to know it all went off without a hitch. Everyone turned up guided by the map. There was some digital chat beforehand about what the run would entail and we finished up with a variety of treats back at Timberyard. So yeah, it was quite the success.

The app is free to download for iPhone with an Android version on the way. Head over to the website to read more about it.

Oh, and here’s a video. Probably explains it better than we have.