Midtown Magazine

Page 95


any of us remain closet jocks, wishing we could recapture the glory days when we “dominated” in kickball, dodgeball or just about any sport our teachers could invent to keep us active, busy and interacting with the other kids. No need to dream anymore about competing yourself as you watch Carolina Panthers or Carolina Hurricanes games from your favorite couch or local gym treadmill. You can easily get back into the game with some “unconventional” sports in the Triangle via TRI Sports, a sports social club that boasts more than 23,000 participants. “We see about 2,000 people a week participating in kickball,” said Tri Sports president Danny Lefebvre, a Detroit native who settled in the area more than a decade ago after going to graduate school at the University of North Carolina. “It is the most fun, the most social and it is that way because it is the least intimidating. Nobody played college varsity kickball. The excuse I hear most often of why people say they can’t play a certain sport is ‘Oh, I haven’t played that since grade school.’ Well, yes, that’s when we all played, so you are qualified, come on out. It is an extremely social sport. Most people are out here to just have a good time.” Tri Sports is part of a group of more than 50 such clubs across the country under the Sport & Social Industry Association umbrella, which has a main goal of helping the industry and its players grow through cooperative efforts – and keys on social interaction. There is a national convention each year to discuss new sports and innovative ways to involve adults in both unique and conventional sports. Tri Sports organizes sports and provides venues for dozens of unique sports in the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill areas, including elementary school favorites kickball and dodgeball, as well as flag football, broomball, cornhole, skeeball and many others. “We are a reseller of fun, to simplify it,” Lefebvre said. “We buy all the raw ingredients of a good time, we make it into a nice cake and sell it to people. If you don’t like my cake maybe I have a tart or a custard coming down the line that is maybe more your speed.” Lefebvre faced a challenge right out of the gate. Tri Sports’ first games of ultimate Frisbee (which is no longer offered), beach volleyball and softball were scheduled for the second week of September, 2011. With the tragedy of 9-11 dominating the news, Lefebvre sat back and wondered midtownmag.com | 95