City man matches pro trainers with aspiring athletes

Scott Morrison calls his job “a really cool gig.”

The Sarnia man works at a brokerage that matches aspiring athletes and musicians with accomplished professionals for one-on-one coaching.

As business development co-ordinator, Morrison focuses on the sports side and finds clients willing to pay for training with icons like seven-time Stanley Cup champ Bryan Trottier or baseball all-star Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez.

The company has 60 world-class instructors on its roster.

“I get a sense of what our clientele are willing to spend and we tailor packages to suit them,” said Morrison, a 27-year-old

Scott Morrison

business grad from Lambton College.

Pricing starts at as little as $50 for a video analysis, and climbs to six figures for a serious, year-long investment in training.

“Most of our clients are affluent but we’re working on being accessible to everyone,” says Steve Wicklum, CEO and co-founder of Scoolu, formerly My Pro Hero.

The company was founded in 2015 with help from Lambton College computer science students to build the technological platform.

“Lambton College played a pivotal role in getting this off the ground,” said Wicklum, a former junior hockey player in Canada who played pro in Europe.

“I finished high school at LCCVI playing with the Petrolia Jets,” Wicklum said. Years later, he became interested in sports management and coaching.

“I was talking with Bryan (Trottier) and realized pro athletes have access to these gurus but not everyone does.”

The idea behind Scoolu (pronounced School You) is to provide more people with access to professionals in sports. The list includes NHL hockey instructor Rob Schremp, NBA trainer Drew Hanlen and American boxing trainer Teddy Atlas.

Two years ago, Blake Armstrong of London joined the company and it expanded into the music industry, bringing on trainers like Pink’s drummer Mark Schulman, Eminem engineer Steve Baughman, and Owen Roddy and Ashley Everett, who choreographed Single Lady for Beyonce.

“We have the people behind the athletes and entertainers who helped them get there,” Wicklum said. Essentially, we are the broker that finds the best fit for our clientele.”

He calls his business ground-breaking and considers the MasterClass concept one of his biggest competitors, but says Scoolu was founded first.

About half of Scoolu’s clients were meeting their trainers in person prior to COVID-19. But that changed in March.

“We are one of those rare companies that is seeing success during the pandemic,” said Wicklum. “We were able to pivot to online only and we’re seeing a significant amount of interest.”

Morrison said he couldn’t believe his good fortune in becoming one of six Scoolu employees. He played football while attending St. Christopher Secondary, and had hoped to play in university.

“If Scoolu was around for me, I might have continued playing,” he said. As it happened, a motor vehicle accident ended his athletic aspirations and caused him to aim for something more business oriented.

Morrison has been working from his home in Sarnia through the pandemic and said finding clients interested in at-home workouts is going well.

“We are able to offer coaching from Olympic gold medalists, world champs and the people who have helped them get to that level, and we can do that anywhere in North America,” he said.

Got a great idea for a business story?  Contact cathy.dobson@thesarniajournal.ca.