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Covington Native Creates Sports App for Pick-Up Games & More

If you've ever gotten the urge to shoot some hoops - but without anybody to play with, there is now an app for that.

And it's all thanks to Covington native and Holmes High School graduate Kevin Dailey.

Dailey is a new and focused entrepreneur who has recently put his creative efforts into a project known as Pick-Up Sports, a social gathering app designed to put like-minded people together in one space to achieve a very simple goal: the ability to play any team sport they want whenever they want to play it.

The app is set to officially launch this spring, but the steps it took to land Dailey at this current opportunity have left him with a wide array of diverse and versatile skills.

After graduating Holmes High School and completing a vocational degree in mechanical design work, Dailey moved to Lexington following his girlfriend’s acceptance to the University of Kentucky. During this time, Dailey completed both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education and eventually traveled internationally to teach English and American culture.

“I stood out like a sore thumb,” Dailey recalled about his first time student-teaching in China. “Clearly, I was a foreigner and was viewed as such.” But one solid way Dailey was able to forge his path into the group was the country’s accessibility to public fitness facilities and by playing team sports.

“I didn’t speak Mandarin,” Dailey remembered distinctly, “but I did speak basketball.” And although it would be a number of years before this experience would become part of Dailey’s current project, this realization of team sports as a universal language for community engagement left a lasting impression on Dailey’s future endeavors.

After returning from his student-teaching role, Dailey moved back home and continued his education career as a history teacher at Gallatin County High School for five years as well as serving as the school’s cross country coach.

Feeling as though he had taken teaching as far as he could, Dailey found himself searching for a way to use technology to counter the modern effects of what he described as a “sedentary lifestyle” that contributed to “all-time high levels of obesity, loneliness, and stress.” The only challenge to Dailey’s desire to create a medium for positive socializing and community health was his demanding teaching schedule.

“Last summer, I really decided to take the plunge and start this thing… But I couldn’t do that as a teacher,” Dailey said. “Believe it nor not, I could design airplane parts a lot easier with a lot more free time than I could teach 150 high-school students.”

So he returned to mechanical design work and found himself with a new wealth of free time to fully develop his vision and tackle the community issues that mattered to him most. The only piece of the puzzle left to take care of was meeting someone with the proper technological expertise to fully flesh out what would become Pick-Up Sports.

That connection came in the form of a personal tie through a close friend of Dailey’s brother, Chris Bergman, a successful technology entrepreneur from the Cincinnati area and founder of FamilyTech (originally known as ChoreMonster).

Dailey found Bergman to be a bit of a mentor for the ongoing project and after receiving some positive feedback on the initial pitch of the concept, an energized Dailey was off to assemble the pieces of his newly-formed idea.

“He believed this is something that could really benefit Cincinnati,” Dailey recalled of his exchange with Bergman. “He was on board immediately.”

So Dailey was off and running with every aspect of his initial plan now being properly covered by an experienced professional. Equally important was Dailey’s commitment to partnering with a developer who shared a strong desire for public service.

“With my partner and programmer, we both have this vision of service to your community as being extremely valuable,” Dailey said. “And that service is really driving what we do. I have the expertise in terms of sports, he’s the expert in building this up.”

The App and How It Works

Pick-Up Sports can be downloaded from the app store on any traditional mobile device. Personal preferences are created based on the user’s selection of what type of sport they want to play, how close the location of the game is, and how many other new users are also available to play.

“You can add your friends from existing social media and bring them in so you don’t feel like you have to do everything with strangers,” Dailey said, “but you also get to tap into a community who has this common interest.”

As far as which particular demographic Pick-Up Sports is hoping to reach, Dailey insists that the app can be extremely beneficial for young professionals seeking a way to escape the effects of loneliness that modern technology use often brings.

“I say working out alone sucks and your friends oftentimes are pretty lame,” Dailey said. “So this is a way to fix both of those problems. We’re really trying to bridge the gap between the need that people have, and want people to do something with them.”

For anyone who may be hesitant to try the app, one of the greatest features of Pick-Up Sports is its openness to spontaneity and no ties to long-term commitments of any kind.

“We could never see each other again and still have a great time,” Daily said, “which is not only going to give us an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends, but it’s going to give us a more positive outlook on our community.”

Over time, users will have the ability to turn on/off notifications for any available games they may be interested in and can log in whenever it’s convenient for their schedule. For anyone who isn’t ready for the weekly commitments of a league membership, Pick-Up Sports may provide the best option for any individual with a desire to play freely.

“Ideally, if you’ve been using this app for a day, a month, a week, it’s going to give you the opportunity to have a map full of what you want to do,” Dailey said. “This is that quick, spontaneous resolve.”

Partnerships with Local Businesses

“Businesses drive the community. If businesses are insular, the community is insular,” Daily said. “This is giving a chance for businesses to be public and communal.”

As a personal trainer, Dailey is equally enthusiastic for local gyms, athletic centers, and recreational facilities to benefit from Pick-Up Sports as well.

“Personal trainers spend 90 percent of their time trying to find clients and 10 percent of their time training,” Daily stated. “We can help fill those spots because the community now knows what’s available and know that you’re an option.”

So whether it’s for individuals looking to satisfy an urge to play soccer once a month or a fitness instructor looking to showcase their services to a newfound clientele, Dailey’s vision is to reach every facet of public health opportunities for his hometown.

The app can also be used to list the availability of an open gym, the amount of people present at a certain location, or how many open seats are left at an instructor’s course. Other options allow users to specify what age, gender, and skill-level certain courses or events are catered to.

“We want to build a happier, healthier, and more connected community to live in,” Dailey said. “We have an abundance of resources that everybody just doesn’t know exists.”

After a wealth of opportunities in community service, Dailey has formulated a vision to make technology more accessible to physical recreation and positive social experiences. Together with a developer equally dedicated to the cause, “Pick-Up Sports” will be open and available this spring to any local looking to take their game to the next level.

“There’s enough relaxation, we want to bring in some physical recreation,” Daily concluded. “The end-goal is if anyone wants to do anything active, they know where to go.”

For more information, check out the website

Written by Marc Kennedy, RCN contributor