I am excited to be an active advisor to Uru Sports. We’re extremely passionate about building a global community of athletes that solves their most pressing needs. The team that we’ve put together is absolutely amazing and going to have a huge impact. It’s a motivated team willing to put in the work and have fun while doing it. The growth I’ve witnessed in this team and in this product over the past six months is on an upward trajectory and I’m excited to be a part of it.
It's been awesome working with Uru Sports to bring their vision to life. As a former pro soccer player, I wish I had this during my playing days. Now as a retired athlete, I am looking forward to keeping in better touch with my various soccer teams through Uru. During college, Ainsley and I founded "Athletes For Community Transformation," a student organization made up of student-athletes from varsity sports whose mission is to spread awareness, build relationships, and accept responsibility to bridge the athletic campus with the Ann Arbor community. Now it's full circle working with Ainsley on Uru, focusing on the larger sports community!
I'm really excited about Ainsley's vision or Uru Sports. Student athletes are craving community and connection more than ever, They are also seeking trusted and credible resources to help them navigate the world of college sports today and to effectively plan for their futures. I'm proud to be an Advisor and look forward to seeing the Uru Community come to life!
I first heard of Uru at the The Players Impact start up competition during '20 NBA All Star Game. I hear pitches and startups daily; however only a few stand out that I see as truly solving a problem at global scale. Ainsley's Uru presentation and fact that she lived/breathed the issue first hand resonated and truly shined a spotlight on a white space which definitely has global scale and appeal. In today's global world many athletes are considering moving abroad; chasing the dream to keep playing as well as earn money and there are no definitive sites to help ease the transition and provide transparency. Currently this is being done by word of mouth, friends of friends and a need for a transparent platform definitely exists; as she says where Glassdoor meets LinkedIn for sports is spot on. I think using Field Hockey as the initial sport was also a smart decision as its the sport she knows best, but the sky is the limit for other sports. Definitely a startup to keep an eye on!!!
After playing professional basketball in 7 different countries for 8 different teams, one thing is very clear: there is a glaring need for accessible information and increased connectivity in the global sports market. Uru is poised to connect the global sports community in a way that has yet to be done and bring value to the many players (pun intended!) in a huge global market.
One of the best parts about working with Uru over the years has been watching Ainsley grow as a founder. She turned her firsthand experience as a professional athlete into a deep passion for improving the sports experience of thousands of athletes worldwide. She is committed to seeking out great people and opportunities and learning as much as possible. I really appreciate her diligent approach to the growth of Uru.
I've really enjoyed all my interactions with Ainsley. She has felt the pain as an athlete having to jump between teams and now is addressing it herself. It is clear that she truly is a professional team player too. She puts a ton of effort into ensuring that she only works with fantastic people, knows how to take feedback and learn, and of course, charge forward. Her intentionality around these areas will go a long ways for her.
Uru is a fanastic idea and is serving a real need in the marketplace. Ainsley has shown there is a place for Uru with her countless successful placements to date—even with limited resources. As a former college athlete myself I would have loved to take advantage of Uru when I graduated but it didn't exist then.
Ainsley has a real passion for this and the first hand knowledge to get it done. Now she is working to build a team that is unique and as hard working as she is.
Working with Ainsley McCallister and Uru Sports is a rewarding experience. Ainsley is a dynamic leader who is implementing her visionary strategy with precision. Uru is capitalizing on a large under-served market and creating tremendous value for its participants. It is exciting to watch the company grow and I can wait to see what happens next!
Below is one of the messages I received from a Uru World Team Member after our tournament in Japan. Naomi gave me permission to share this as a recommendation but I'm using it to show how truly awesome our Uru Community is. They want to build meaning relationships, learn about the world, compete hard and have fun.
"Being on the Uru World Team in Japan was honestly the best experience I've had. So much fun and top-level hockey. Somehow by not even being there you managed to bring a bunch of girls from all over the world together and it was amazing. I literally cried from laughing multiple times. So thank you so much for this opportunity, it was exactly what I needed and I am so grateful for it because I now know another 13 awesome people and got to learn so much about different cultures. Ainsley you are bloody amazing and I love how you have the ability to bring people together with happiness, it's a talent that not many people have."
-Naomi Evans, Australian National Team
I've known of Ainsley since she was in college and over the last year I've had the opportunity to get to know her and Uru Sports here in Denver. She's the real deal.
I am also an alumni student-athlete at the University of Michigan and heard of Ainsley from the people I worked with in the athletic department. They were blown away by her passion to make an impact and her drive to get things done.
I was thrilled to get to meet her and found her energy and enthusiasm for life and Uru Sports was contagious. Many of my friends and family members have had the opportunity to play sports professionally overseas and they experienced some of the same challenges Uru Sports is out to solve.
She's an absolutely incredible person and dynamic leader who has a track record of going after big goals and accomplishing what she sets out to do.
I met Ainsley when she was a captain on the Michigan field hockey team. To be a division one athlete in any program is an achievement, but you need special dedication to excel at one of the top teams in the sport. Over the last seven years I have seen Ainsley take her drive, leadership, teamwork and passion from the field to found and develop Uru Sports.
I was attracted to Uru for three main reasons: 1) It fills an underserved niche in a profitable market; 2) It is scalable; and 3) Any business needs strong leadership and integrity and Ainsley has both of these qualities. I was also attracted for some non-business reasons. Having enjoyed playing many sports I know the life lessons and friendship that can come from sport at all levels. It is one of the great pleasures in life to be able to compete hard on the field and then share a beer and camaraderie with the opposing players after the match. Uru offers the opportunity to broaden participants horizons on and off the field.
I was lucky enough to play in India and Holland but it’s never been easy, even when I had connections all over the world. I had to fish around and hope for a random encounter that led to an open position. With Uru, it takes away the randomness and you can now actually do proper research.
Before Uru, there were basically two routes to finding a team to play for. One, contacting all your friends who may have a connection to see IF they knew of any teams possibly looking. And two, search the web and reach out to all teams, hoping you contacted the right person and hope they’d respond and be looking for a player. I knew nothing about the clubs and just had messaged teams blindly.
There are so many different aspects when looking for a club and a lot of athletes don’t realize until the arrive across the world, that what they expected is not the case at all. Uru helps supply the proper information to make realistic expectations and gives you guidance in the process.
Uru Sports is solving a true issue that I've seen so many of my athlete friends deal with as post-collegiate athletes. Ainsley is a creative, energetic, and passionate founder who has experienced this first hand. Rarely do I meet people as confident and head-strong as Ainsley. I can't wait to see how Uru and Ainsley create positive change in this space.
While I am quite biased as Ainsley's father, she is a remarkably hard working, creative, and thoughtful entrepreneur. She is used to learning from coaches, she is a natural connector, and she is constantly seeking out new ways of improving herself and her company. On the other hand, she can weed through poor advice and is not afraid to make tough decisions and to change directions when needed. Ainsley has a good sense of expense control and yet, she understands the need to invest strategically. I has been an honor to be able to invest in Urusports.
Ben McCallister, Jr., MD