Arin Finger: Smiles, safety, and sportsmanship
Arin Finger was working in the film industry, hopping from one location to the next, when he decided it was time to put down roots for his young family. He put some time into thinking about what the next chapter of his life would look like and what would make him happy, and he knew that work/life balance and giving back to the community were two things he wanted to incorporate into his new life. While researching business opportunities, he discovered i9 Sports, an organization with a mission to help kids succeed in life through sports.
“Growing up, I played all the sports. I wasn’t the best athlete, but I was the one who was always out playing; instead of watching football on tv, I was outside playing football. I felt like starting an i9 Sports league was a great opportunity for community involvement and liked how it was all about giving kids a fun experience in sports rather than providing a hyper-competitive environment. We are all about smiles, safety, and sportsmanship.”
In 2013, Arin launched his first i9 Sports franchise in Phoenix, Arizona with 150 kids, and soon acquired another existing i9 Sports Franchise in the Tempe/Ahwatukee/Avondale area. His business soared, with 2500 kids registered to participate in Spring of 2020. The pandemic forced cancellations of many programs, but Arin has high hopes that kids can get back to safe play in 2021.
The success of i9 Sports can be attributed to the focus on fun and making sure kids try multiple sports. “We don’t want to limit a kid to one sport; trying new sports leads to new social connections and allows them to find out what they truly enjoy. It also leads to fewer injuries and allows kids to train their bodies and learn varying skills; hand/eye coordination, how to kick a ball, etc. We promote universal access to sports and keep the experience new and fun for the kids.”
“We are all about smiles, safety, and sportsmanship.”
In order to ensure access for all kids and to give back to his community, Arin provides scholarships to kids through their partnership with Peter Piper Pizza and began notifying families about the EKS Pass in 2019. “I feel blessed by the number of candidates that have come our way because of the Pass. We have seen tremendous growth in participation of kids from lower-income neighborhoods.” Besides cost, transportation can also be an obstacle for families, and i9’s model makes it convenient for parents to have their kids participate. “Instead of multiple practices throughout the week, we have a combined practice/game schedule on the same day. The kids practice for half the session and the game is the second half of the session.” This model is more accommodating for families with two full-time employed parents, or parents that work afternoon/evening shifts throughout the week.
i9 Sports encompasses many of the same values as Every Kid Sports and we appreciate all the work that Arin and his staff have done to provide a fun, multiple sports experience for kids with diverse backgrounds.
For more information or to register with i9 Sports in the Greater Phoenix area, please visit https://www.i9sports.com/phoenix-youth-sports-leagues.
– The Every Kid Sports team