YEDaily: Emile Studham

Emile Studham has taken his love for philanthropy and fitness and turned it into a successful business that helps students and workers all throughout Canada build their teamwork and communication skills while being active and having fun with his life changing sports program Aussie X in today’s YEDaily…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I am the founding director of Aussie X, a sports program for schools, camps, birthday parties and corporate events that teaches the life-changing power of sport and community through Australian rules football (“footy”), netball and cricket. Utilizing the unique Australian sports culture to level the playing field, Aussie X promotes healthy lifestyles, laughter and confidence. The programs have participants active and engaged from start to finish and are designed to motivate participants to enjoy the benefits of physical activity at varying degrees of intensity. The power of sport to change lives is the driving force behind Aussie X and the team is committed to providing SAFE – UNIQUE – ACTIVE – FUN!

Why did you start your company? What was the inspiration for this route?
I have always loved teaching and I love Aussie rules football. This combined with my go-getter ‘anything is possible’ attitude meant I was lucky enough to merge these two passions and build a business teaching footy.

I launched the first program of its kind in Canada in 2003 when I started a program called Auskick Canada. I literally had a hockey bag of footies and caught the subway and buses to the schools, as I was too young to rent a car! I saw potential in the program as a genuine business once I was able to sell multiple programs in one week. I realized that if I could sell multiple programs over multiple weeks in a number of cities, I could have a fully functioning business.

In 2008 I took on a game development role for the Ontario Australian Football League. After four months in this role, I partnered with another Aussie, Kaela Bree and Aussie X was formed. We added Netball and Cricket to the sports we offered and quickly saw the positive impact we were able to have on children and the important role model position we were privileged to take on. Since we started we have taught over 112,000 students across the province and in British Columbia. 

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
Empowering kids to get active in a totally new way is one of the best parts of what I do. Another amazing part that drives me on a daily basis is when I get to witness that moment when a kid learns a new skill or turns to me with a giant smile and says thank you – it’s great to see that what I am so passionate about can make a difference in others’ lives.

The most challenging part, which is also one of the great parts, is living the life of a budding entrepreneur. I have learnt a lot about business, but there are often areas that I am completely new to and therefore need to seek others’ advice. I am lucky to have two very switched on business partners in Kaela Bree and Mark Sheard. Together we are a united team with different strengths that really work to complement one another.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I want to be travelling and setting up programs around the world. Helping adults and children alike, I want to help create a more active, happy and healthy world.

What does success look like to you?
Success is the freedom to move around the world, growing the business and choosing what projects I want to invest my time in.  So success looks like travel, presenting in front of thousands of people and seeing hundreds of thousands of people getting active in the unique Aussie X way!

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Pitching the dragons on Dragons’ Den
is certainly a highlight. Being able to get such high-level business people engaged and excited about our programs the same way the kids do reaffirmed my confidence in the program. It also showed me how well the programs transfer into corporate team building for adults – which is now a big focus for Aussie X.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Get help when you don’t know what to do.  Knowing your weaknesses is as important as knowing your strengths. Allocate time to spend on your business and on your team as it grows. Wherever possible, look to outsource any process within your business that you do not need to do. Spending time on the most important areas of your business is KEY!

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
At Aussie X we have our own foundation that helps generate funds for low socio-ecomic areas throughout the world. Kaela Bree, Mark Sheard and I personally fund Aussie X foundation projects as well as raise funds from generous donors to run these projects both in Canada and internationally. Personally, over the years I have supported countless charities and not-for-profit organizations that are doing great things around the world, two of the major ones are OXFAM and Blood Bank.

What to you is notable?
Notable is investing in yourself to be the best you can be and focusing on making a difference in the lives of others.

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
iPhone!  Total awesome-ness!