New app to match-make people, hobbies and communities
A new on-line project is aiming to get more people active, while also connecting them with their communities. MatchMyHobby app is the brainchild of Alex and Francois Theis and has a goal of creating “healthy minds in healthy communities” by encouraging people to “go online to get offline”.
It is part of a wider OpenActive project that provides information about locations for different activities.
Why do we need a hobby matchmaker?
While many people feel connected to others in the 21st century, it is often though on-line platforms and social media. Yet, increasingly, we see reports of communities of people who do not know each other personally. In some cases, neighbours do not even know each other.
Added to this, people believe they are too time-poor for hobbies and exercise.
The founders are both in their thirties. Francois said: “Having moved to London in my twenties, working long hours in the City and frequently travelling meant that I wasn’t getting the chance to play the sports that I loved, especially tennis.
“Even my now wife Alexandra will often not be available to play. So it led me to think that there must be an opportunity to help match up people of a similar mindset.”
MatchMyHobby hopes to change this.
What is MatchMyHobby?
The MatchMyHobby app offers more than 250 hobbies, from tennis to tango, and aims to connect people so they can do their hobbies together.
MatchMyHobby quickly enables users to find fellow local enthusiasts who they can arrange to meet up with at whatever time and at a venue that suits them.
Alexandra, who is MatchMyHobby COO and previously attended the University of Edinburgh, said: “London can be a lonely city. You might be a millennial who has moved here to start your first job, or maybe you’ve relocated from elsewhere in the world, in which case MatchMyHobby is a great way to help to make new friends, stay healthy and keep up your hobbies.
“We want to encourage people to leave their flats, meet their neighbours and do what they love doing.”
MatchMyHobby + OpenActive
MatchMyHobby is working as part of the OpenActive initiative. OpenActive is a community-led initiative for the sport and physical activity sector, stewarded by the Open Data Institute, supported by Sport England and formed with supporting organisations and individuals.
Reports have shown that 25% of people in England are not physically active. This is high in comparison to other countries. Being inactive leads to a range of associated health and social problems, such as depression, loneliness, diabetes and heart disease.
Francois said: “Being a part of the OpenActive initiative, we want to change this. We want people to go online to get offline. We want pensioners to find each other in their council areas and go to drawing classes together.
“We want young people to meet up and learn a new skill. Through OpenActive, we have integrated a system that allows people to locate each other and find places to practise within their locality. As a result, we are also helping local businesses attract more customers.”
How to access MatchMyHobby
The MatchMyHobby app is available on IOS and recently rolled out an interactive user interface. There are currently 3000 active users and MatchMyHobby has 24,000 Instagram followers.
See MatchMyHobby app.