Club Builds Athletic Community

Boston Ski and Sports Club replaces college social scene

Boston College students receive not only an education, but also a four-year membership in a tight-knit community with a built-in social network and recreational system. Graduation means that Eagles are inevitably propelled in multitudinous directions, though, and it might not be quite as easy to stay active and involved with peers.

For those who choose to stay in Boston after their time at BC has come to an end, the Boston Ski and Sports Club (BSSC) provides an array of opportunities-both social and recreational-to replace those that graduates will miss most.

Founded in 1965, the BSSC is the largest sports and social club in the greater Boston Area and boasts over 45,000 participants. Active adults of all ages play in organized leagues in more than a dozen sports, which run year-round, every day of the week. While membership is not required to participate in anything the BSSC organizes, members save on every activity they do within the club. Members are also automatically part of BSSC’s Member Rewards Program, which offers discounts and special deals at hundreds of retailers, bars, and restaurants in the greater Boston area.

“It’s a great outreach program for young professionals to anyone just looking to get out, get active, network, meet new people, and stay involved in sports and social atmospheres,” said Jessica Woodcome, sports marketing and promotions manager and sports program manager for field hockey at BSSC. “There’s so much going on nowadays, and so many avenues to check out what’s going on. It’s nice that we’re one centralized location, so you’re always in the know of something going on in Boston.”

For those not inclined to commit to an entire season or unsure of what sport they would like to play, the club also periodically offers pickup games and tournaments. In each league, teams have the choice to play at the recreational or competitive level-so all skill sets can find a place. If players feel like sharpening those skills, they can always attend a clinic in the sport of their choice. While most players register within a pre-established team, individuals are also welcome to join any league and will be assigned to a team.

The BSSC sets itself apart from other sports clubs in the customer service it offers. It maintains a full-time staff of program managers, including Woodcome, in order to ensure that when people get involved in BSSC, they have an all-around positive experience. The program managers are responsible for taking care of scheduling, updating standings, reserving fields and courts, assigning referees, and anything else the players need. That way, members need only focus on winning games and bonding with teammates.

Aside from athletic events, BSSC frequently organizes social events, ski trips, and longer vacations. This summer, the club will offer four different Red Sox pregames, in which 30-60 people sign up online to attend a Sox game and meet up beforehand for a pregame party at the Baseball Tavern across the street from Fenway. “We all meet there and mingle, meet everybody, have some complimentary appetizers, and then you get a ticket into the game,” Woodcome said. “It’s awesome because when else can you get group tickets?”

On June 20, BSSC will hold its annual Rock the Boat party cruise, which will feature a live band, live DJ, games, photo opportunities, and more.

As one might expect, though, many of the social aspects of the BSSC are not organized events, but rather come naturally from being part of a team. Brittany Jeye, a current member of the club and BC ’12, said one of her favorite memories was going out to a bar for drinks with her floor hockey teammates after a particularly triumphant victory. They even went out with the team they had just defeated and were able to talk and make new friends after the game.

Jeye, who works as grant coordinator at the Museum of Science in Boston, travels a great deal for work, and therefore has a hard time fitting in time for social events. Playing for a team with people her age provides an opportunity to stay in touch with her peers in a casual, fun setting. Moreover, as an active intramural participant during her time at BC, she wanted to maintain the same kind of weekly athletic involvement once she graduated.

“BSSC is a great avenue for anyone from a former athlete, recent grad, young professional, to someone just trying to meet people in the area or trying to be part of a team again,” Woodcome said. “We’re a great way of keeping in the know of what’s going on in Boston, and having an organized reason to get out, stay active, and

May 1, 2014