5 months ago

HWRK Magazine: Issue 03 - Spring 2018

HWRK Magazine

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68 // HWRK MAGAZINE // Spring 2018 hwrkmagazine @hwrk_magazine

If you are inspired by Neil and wish to learn more about his business visit: Edventure is out there! Discover the PE teacher who swapped gym benches and mats for the great outdoors former PE teacher has embarked upon an adventurous and inspiring journey of his own. Neil Travis, who previously headed the sports department at Castle View Enterprise Academy in Sunderland, has launched his own business called Discover Edventure. After 29 years of teaching PE, Neil decided to turn his hobbies – walking and cycling – into a dream job, encouraging people into the countryside to educate, involve and inspire them through outdoor activities. After spending many years with family, friends and students in the Lake District and other national parks, it was on such a school trip when he was inspired by an outdoor instructor during a residential week at Derwent Hill near Keswick. He recalls: “The students were from the football team at school. They were taking part in a GCSE course on mountain and moorland walking. The instructor, Andy, began the course by taking the group to a small hill called Castlehead near Derwent Water. This is a beautiful vantage point over the lake. “He began teaching the boys about basic map reading and how far the different islands were away from the group. As the boys were trying to work out the distances, he stopped everything, waited for everyone to listen and said to me, ‘Isn’t this the best classroom in the world?’” That sentence never left Mr Travis, in fact it became the inspiration behind Discover Edventure. “It captured the moment perfectly,” he recalls with a smile. “It was actually a life changing moment as the very next day I got involved in very basic hill walking following a knee injury.” His new career is all about making access to The Lake District and other national parks in the UK easy for groups, whether it be sports teams, school children, college or university students, groups of friends or work colleagues. Experiences can be social, exciting, educational, adventurous and challenging. And the 54-year-old has already scored a winning goal after securing Middlesbrough Football Club Academy as a client - taking their under-18 squad to the lakes for challenging team bonding activities with a unique football related theme. “The coaches and staff from Middlesbrough were impressed by the skills it brought out in the players. When you take the players away from their normal environment, they can find new skills that they didn’t know they had, and then they can take it back to their usual environments,” Neil says. “That’s one of the reasons I wanted to start this. I’ve found that kids want to learn, they want to go outdoors and get away from their normal life. It’s fantastic to see them shine in an unusual setting and it provides the best job satisfaction ever.” When talking about going self-employed, Neil adds: “If you’re thinking about it then I would say just go for it. It’s a big commitment, but the stresses are good ones. I had great support and advice from the BIC (Business and Innovation Centre), and now I’m loving my job more than ever. “I’m passionate about what we can offer people in terms of group togetherness, improved communication, leadership development and improved team dynamics and I have a huge desire to succeed. It’s also got the amazing benefit of being done outside in incredible environments.” Spring 2018 // HWRK MAGAZINE // 69