Over 75 years ago, a young digger from Essendon made his way ashore at Pylos harbor on the southwestern coast of the Peloponnese.
A sports season usually has its ups and downs. Your team might experience wins, losses or that amazing comeback game that you'll never forget. Now it's time to remember the season with a team party.
If you've volunteered to help plan and organise the party, there are several steps you need to take.
1. Choose the Venue
Where will you have the party? Ask teammates (or their parents) how many will attend from their families. You may have just 15 players on your
team, but if each teammate brings two family members with them, your numbers will triple. You need a venue that comfortably fits all these guests.
Consider one of these venues:
- Amusement park
- Bowling alley
- Community centre
Call a few possible places and ask for their prices and what their policies are on bringing food. Ask teammates to weigh in on where they'd prefer to go. Some of these places offer fun activities to supplement the party. But keep in mind that if you have a small budget, team members may need to help pay for additional costs.
2. Plan the Food
This factor also merits input from team members (and their parents, if the party is for a youth sports team). Does each player want to bring a dish of food? Do they want to order something from a restaurant or have the meal catered? Do they prefer just drinks and desserts rather than a full meal?
Once you've decided on a menu plan, you may need to ask team members to bring food or to pay for their own meals, depending on your team's budget.
3. Prepare Season Highlights
Team members and their families enjoy seeing how each player contributed to the team. If you had a team photographer, you can easily gather team photos. If not, collect photos from each member of the team. If possible, collect video from the games as well.
At the party, show photos or short video clips on a digital slideshow. You could also show pictures of each teammate next to his or her stats from the season.
4. Prepare Awards and Recognitions
Finally, the reason everyone came: awards. Ideally, each person should receive an award so he or she won't feel left out. The coach may also want to give out additional awards to a few players for achievements such as 'Most Valuable Player', 'Most Improved' or 'Most Inspirational'.
The type of award you give out will depend on the team's preferences as well as your budget. Ask an engraving company about their options.
Typical options include:
- Trophies and cups
- Metal plates
- Glass and crystal awards
You should order the awards several weeks in advance to give the engraving company enough time to complete the order. Before you submit the order, make sure you know exactly what you want each award to say. Also ensure there are no spelling mistakes on players' names.
When the coach gives out the awards at the party, he or she should prepare something nice to say about each player. Even if the player didn't score a lot of points, he or she may have inspired other team members with his or her positive attitude.
5. Plan Activities
Food, a highlight video and the awards ceremony are often enough to satisfy players and families. But if you have extra time or money, you could consider additional activities. These activities depend on your venue. For example, if you're having the party at a bowling alley, of course everyone will want to bowl.
Other activity ideas include:
- A relay race or another friendly competition
- Lawn games like horseshoes
- A water balloon fight (for a summer party)
Follow these steps to plan an end-of-season party players will always remember.