A North-East businessman is freerunning his way to success after launching his own start-up teaching parkour back in 2012.
Craig Cheel, from Fenham, Newcastle, launched Apeuro Parkour and Freerunning after picking up jobs teaching parkour in schools, and teaching classes at a local youth centre.
Parkour/freerunning is primarily non-competitive, and involves training the body to move freely through or over any terrain. Principally, this is usually through running, jumping, climbing and quadrupedal movement.
Cheel's interest for the sport was sparked when he began training in 2007. In recent years, it has become increasingly popular.
He was enthusiastic to share his passion with others, as it meant that the North East community of parkour and freerunners would grow.
It was then, combined with help from Business Sparks, a local enterprise programme, that the former Business Spark realised he could make money from his passion.
Since establishing his business, he has expanded and has partnered with numerous organisations, including the Great North Run Culture – to produce an art film, alongside ITV and more recently, Infinite Air Extreme Trampoline Park in Durham.
Apeuro now has a team of 12, with over 50 years combined coaching experience. The team operate from two venues in the North East – Infinite Air Extreme Trampoline Park in Durham, and the Centre for Urban Sport and Art in Newcastle. Both venues now run classes seven days a week.
Cheel said: “I attended a programme called Business Sparks, which helps young people develop their business ideas. It was the course that helped me to refine my idea, and decide what direction I wanted to take Apeuro.
“Before the programme, I had no business knowledge whatsoever, but the programme was structured really well. It covered all aspects of business, and every week I was learning something. From the workshops, to being paired with a business mentor, and the one to one advice – everything was so useful.”
Hannah Morrow, development officer at Reviving the Heart of the West End said: “The Business Sparks programme is designed to give young people all the information and support they need to kickstart their business – from one to one advice, being paired with a business mentor, weekly workshops that cover different areas of business, to providing them with test trading opportunities, and an office space to work from.
“Craig was enthusiastic about his idea from the start, and with the help of the programme, has developed a really successful business, which has gone from strength to strength.”
Despite his continuing success, the nature of Craig’s work makes him driven to push his limits every day. With that, he has ambitious plans for the future direction of Apeuro.
He said: “The best way to think of it would be, anything to do with parkour or freerunning in the North East, whether it be teaching, performing, or art projects, Apeuro will be involved in it.”
Alongside promoting the Apeuro name and building up his business, Craig is also keen to expand in to more venues across the North East and work on higher scale TV and film productions.
Business Sparks, the programme Cheel took part in, which is led by Reviving the Heart of the West End recently began running courses again in October.