By: Charlotte Cheek ~Staff Writer~
Many people find themselves searching for friends to exercise with. From solo activities like running or yoga to team sports like basketball and soccer, people are constantly looking for an exercise partner. Physi is a new app for that.
Physi was launched in September and created by Matt Vorst. According to senior Bill Bentley, an intern for Physi, a friend approached Vorst with the idea of developing a social network for sports. In 2005, Vorst, who had recently moved to Cincinnati, created a website with a similar idea.
“It just wasn’t ready to launch yet. He developed it at that time because he was new to Cincinnati and needed to make some friends, loved playing sports and struggled to find a way to meet people who shared that interest,” Bentley said. “(Vorst) added the mobile twist from what he had done before, and Physi was born.”
As an intern, Bentley manages the street team. The street team, which includes a few Xavier students, has attended different local events like 5ks and employee health fairs, where they promote Physi.
“This app is all about getting people off the couch and connected with others,” Bentley said. Bentley has used the app to find friends to exercise with, and it seems other Xavier students like the idea. “I am a swimmer and I love to stay active. I think Physi sounds really cool,” first-year David Bunnell said. “I am constantly doing intensive workouts for swimming, but it would be nice to go throw a frisbee or play basketball. I like the concept of meeting new people who have the same interest as you.”
Bentley said the developers are in the process of adding a team feature. That would allow teams to connect with others and play. “I played intramural volleyball this year, and there were so many times when my team wanted to practice with another,” first-year Emily Kehling said. “Physi could have helped us with this.” The activities on the app include a variety of sports and activities, from traditional sports like softball and basketball to activities such as billiards, cornhole, darts and dog walking. Just about any activity you could be interested in is featured on Physi, and they are constantly adding more.
“The list of sports is growing every day,” Bentley said. The app currently has 1,100 users. The company’s goal is to get 10,000 users by mid-November, according to Physi employee Brittany Meenach.
“If you hustle and stay true to what it is you are working towards, anything is possible, you just have to push through the challenges,” Meenach said.
Bentley reports he and his friends use the app to connect with each other and play sports, but he has yet to meet a stranger to get active with.
“The more people that sign on, the better the benefit,” Bentley said. “I think it’s important to be active in your everyday life, just to keep up that general healthiness. That’s what Physi promotes: getting people out there and doing things with other people.”