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Local sports and social club offers more than typical sports scene

Chris Wessely directs the Grand Rapid's Sport and Social Club which boasts over 750 local participants.

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The Grand Rapids Sport and Social Club staff members

The Grand Rapids Sport and Social Club staff members /Courtesy of Grand Rapids Sport and Social Club

Players socializing.

Players socializing. /Courtesy of Grand Rapids Sport and Social Club

Whether you win or lose, it does not matter because after your team exits the field, your next play involves heading to a local bar where cold beer and conversation await you. The Grand Rapid’s Sport and Social Club pairs together athletics and socializing as a fun way to bring people together.

Chris Wessely runs Grand Rapid’s social scene through his leadership as the “Lead Dreamer and Ego Enhancement Broker” of the Grand Rapid’s Sport and Social Club. The club offers six seasons a year, each season being a duration of seven weeks long with sports such as kickball, flag football, boot camp, softball, broomball and beach volleyball, to name a few. After the game, all participants are welcomed to get together at one of the partnering local bars for drinks and a good time.

“The atmosphere we create is the formula for success, to make friends super efficiently,” says Wessely.

Wessely’s vision to offer the people of Grand Rapids a unique opportunity to meet people all while having a fun time has now been transformed into the mission of the Sport and Social Club.

How does this club work?

“You build a profile, and then fill out specific questions about social ability pertaining to what social aspect you’re looking for. Then you pick your skill level and competitive level” says Wessely.

"Through your profile you can recruit those who are like minded and are registered on the website. This allows you to control the dynamic of your team and allows the organization to team build with the help of participants building the team themselves.”

“We’re seeing marriages coming out of this. We already had one marriage happen and we had two engagements that happened this year, and I’m thinking, oh my gosh this is fantastic. This is networking without the stigma," says Wessely. "We use sports as an excuse to come together. And because we’re just a social club you make what you want out of it,” says Wessely.

As a member of the club, Allison Palmreuter got a little more than what she had expected when joining the dodgeball league.  After a year of playing dodgeball and kickball together, Palmreuter’s teammate asked her out on a date. A year passed and Palmreuter was engaged to the man who at first was simply only a teammate.

“I wasn't expecting to find a boyfriend, let alone a fiancé when I signed up for dodge ball," says Palmreuter. "But I have to say, it is a great place to meet other single people.”

For those who enjoy participating in sports, this club may be for you. If you also enjoy the combination of sports and drinking ice cold beer with friends, you may want to register for the Grand Rapid’s Sport and Social Club sooner rather than later.

After living in California for six years, Wessely moved to Grand Rapids where he later earned a degree in both Communication and Political Science while minoring in Japanese. Wessely’s original path of ambition was focused in business and marketing.

“I started Aquinas as pre-engineering, says Wessely. "I realized that I couldn't draw and I hated science. So I switched into Communication and Political Science. I thought I was built to be an attorney."

After attending Aquinas, Wessely decided to study abroad for a year at a university in Tokyo, Japan.

Using his coveted American Midwestern accent, Wessely taught English to earn enough money for his living expenses. Following his year spent away from Grand Rapids, he returned back to his home city and worked as a sales and marketing executive for over seven years.

During his time of achievement in sales, Wessely’s path changed direction once again.

“I worked my way up the corporate ladder of marketing," says Wessely. "But then 2008 hit and everyone was laying people off. The second round of cuts, they let me go. So I went to culinary school."

Soon enough, Wessely embraced his passion and talents for the culinary arts and founded The Personal Chef Group that prepares food for families of the greater Grand Rapids area.

In addition to his tasteful creations, his new role as an entrepreneur did not end in the kitchen. After meeting with “The Godfather,” who is the mystery man behind all executive decisions, Wessely began developing an idea that the people of Grand Rapids had not yet experienced.

“Grand Rapids wants to be a big city so badly, so I thought let’s bring a big city idea to them and see what happens,” says Wessely.

The Grand Rapids Sport and Social Club has been consistently sparking the interest of both younger and older adults over the past few years. Now, over 780 people participate in the Grand Rapids area alone. Wessely is also expanding the club throughout this side of the state, leading one in Kalamazoo while Josh Sherry “The Magic Man,” has began branching the club to its third location in Lansing.

Although it is not guaranteed that members will meet their husband or wife while participating in the club, it is guaranteed that all who join will find friendship. “There is no price you can put on long term friendships or meeting your lifetime partner,” says Wessely.


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I could say it was their trip of playing sports then after is hangout with your friends. Hopefully they could think to watch mayweather vs canelo together.