Sunderland teacher swaps school fields for wide open spaces

Neil Travis has launched his own business, Discover Edventure.
Neil Travis has launched his own business, Discover Edventure.

A former PE teacher has swapped the word of education for the great outdoors.

Neil Travis, who previously headed the Sports Department at Castle View Enterprise Academy in Sunderland, has launched his own business, Discover Edventure.

I’ve found that kids want to learn, they want to go outdoors and get away from their normal life.

Neil Travis

The 54-year-old was supported by the North East Business and Innovation Centre’s (BIC) start-up programme, which is part-funded through the England European Regional Development Fund.

Sunderland-based Neil, who has a passion for education and the outdoors, created Discover Edventure to get schools, clubs, communities and businesses from the North East to take part in adventurous activities which focus on improving togetherness, leadership, communication and sociability.

Neil has already scored a big goal after he secured Middlesbrough Football Club as a client; he took their under-18 squad to the Lake District to take part in challenging team-bonding activities with a unique football-related theme.

“The coaches and staff from Middlesbrough Academy were impressed by the skills it brought out in the players,” he said.

“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.

“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 absolutely fantastic to see them shine in an unusual setting, and it gives the best job satisfaction ever.” Neil added.

After 29 years of teaching, Neil described going self-employed as a “risk”, but was hugely appreciative of his support from the BIC.

“My wife came here after being made redundant, so I was already aware of the BIC. So I thought I’d come here and that’s how I met business adviser Victoria Moodie,” he said.

“Victoria has been fantastic and the support from the BIC has been great; I’ve attended the cashflow workshop to learn about money, and I went on the residential course Boost Your Business, which was really good.

Victoria said: “Neil has a fun business and he’s a passionate person, so it’s been a pleasure working with him.

“I wish him all the best and look forward to seeing what else he does.”