Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Using to organise sports fixtures

Anyone who runs a Sunday league football team knows what a pain in the arse it is trying to get 13 or more reluctant players together every week. Just keeping track of who can make it to the next game and who can't can be difficult enough on it's own.

If you're in this boat, here's a potential solution that involves using the social networking website as a way of reducing the weekly load. I hope this will be useful to anyone who manages a team and has regular fixtures.

The first thing to do is to ask all the players in the team to register with Upcoming. It's free and very easy to do.

Once everyone's registered, get them all to tell you their Upcoming usernames and then add all the players to your Upcoming friend's list. The players should then reciprocate by adding you to their friend's list.

The reason for doing this is so that only your team members will be able to see your team's events.

The next step is to create a new event for the next fixture. Obviously you could create events for as many fixtures as you like but it may be simpler to just create one at a time.

Creating a new event is simple but make sure you select the correct privacy options so that only your 'friends and people you invite' (i.e. your team members) can see the event or you'll end up with a bunch of people you've never met before signing up to play (although if your team's anything like mine this might win you more games than your real team).

When you set up the event you can also specify a maximum number of people who can play/attend which can be useful if you're lucky enough to have more players than places in your team.

After creating the event there are a couple of ways you can go, depending on how much work you want to do and how much faith you have in your team members' enthusiasm:

The hands off approach is to rely on the players to remember to check the site regularly to see what fixtures are coming up.

The other, more proactive approach is to send emails to all the players to remind them to check the site. Upcoming's 'Invite friends' feature can take some of the burden off you if you choose this route.

Whatever way you go, the idea is that all the players log in to Upcoming at which point they'll see all the fixtures that you've created.

They can then click on a fixture to view its details and, if they can play, they should click on the 'I'm Attending' link. This will add their name to the list of attendees.

With any luck, your job is now done. You can sign in to your account at any time to see exactly who's signed up to play for any fixture and to make sure that enough players have signed up to play. No more worries over player numbers or frantic last minute phone calls.

Well that's probably a bit hopeful but if it's any better than what you were doing before then I class that as a success.

If you really felt like get into Upcoming you can even use their comments system to write match reports or anything else about the games and get your players to join in. Limitless fun.


Monday, January 29, 2007

Abbé Pierre, founder of the Emmaus movement

I've never been to our local Emmaus in Portslade Village, Brighton, but my mum's never out of there. She's practically furnished her whole house through them. But it wasn't until I heard yesterday about the death of Abbé Pierre, the founder of the Emmaus movement, that I realised the extent of it's charitable foundations and philosophy.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Brighton Festival Children's Parade

Cottesmore St Mary's school float (a humungous coffee grinder) at the Children's Parade to mark the opening of the 2006 Brighton Festival.

Photo showing a parade of children with a huge papier mache coffee grinder in the background
Ellie and Ruby's favourite - Charlie and Lola

Photo of a huge papier mache float of the children's cartoon characters Charlie and Lola at the Brighton Festival children's parade
Pics taken outside Brighton's new Jubilee library - very environmentally friendly.

Photo of the glass front of Brighton's Jubilee library

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Looking for a house? Bingo!

As sad as I am to say farewell to the house I was born in, the time has come to say farewell to the house I was born in. And if it's true that one person's loss is another's gain (or whatever) then this could be your lucky day.

This fantastic house in a superb area (Kinsgley Avenue, Ealing, West London) can be yours for a very reasonable price. And if you're tempted, I can throw in 30-ish years of memories for free: go-karts in the alleyway; presents under the Christmas tree... Well, if you make a decent offer I might spare you the memories!

Full details at Foxton's estate agents.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Holly Days

Here's Holly - the latest Lobo - being flung into the air by her slightly drunk uncle on a boozy-ish sunny afternoon at The Boardwalk (which, co-incidentally, isn't far from the Fishing Museum - see previous post). Poor thing - she's probably only smiling because she doesn't know how to say "give me back to my mum you twat!".

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Brighton Fishing Museum of the day

A quick flit round the Fishing Museum should be on every self-respecting Brighton & Hove day tripper's itinerary. It's small so you won't get lost inside and it's got a 27 foot beach boat! As you stroll by on your way to the Fortune of War, you'll feel the lure of its irresistable 'admission free' entrance sign and, before you know it, you'll be caught up in Regency fishing nets and lobster pots.

If you're feeling daring, try some local shellfish from the stand outside or go mad with a fresh smoked mackerel roll.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Sunday reading hours

It's Sunday morning and bright and sunny so I'm starting the day with a bit of Elvis (Always on my Mind). Then out for a family walk on the beach. Fancied going to Brighton's new Jubilee library but can't because it's not open on Sundays. Why not? What's the point in building new libraries and trying to get people interested in them again if they're closed when I'm not working (or doing something else)?