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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Catch up with Ken Cowen and School of Hard Knocks

The School of Hard Knocks programme, backed by the likes of England's World Cup winner Will Greenwood and ex-Wales captain Scott Quinnell, is currently in Croydon aiming to help up to 25 unemployed over-18s back into work.

The charity - whose work is televised by Sky Sports and is always popular when shared on Rugbydump - uses expert rugby coaches to get those on the programme playing sport, before going into the classroom to educate them on trying to find a job.

"We believe at School of Hard Knocks that one of the best ways to teach people responsibility and motivate them, give them a bit of steel in the backbone, is to get them to play rugby," said the charity's CEO Ken Cowen.

"So we use rugby as a vehicle for helping these guys into work. We are pushing them quite hard.

"In this climate there are people who are really well qualified with a fantastic CV and a great track record in terms of employment history and they are competing with them for jobs. If they don't massively step-up in terms of the amount of applications they are making they are not going to get work."

One of those taking part in Croydon is 25-year-old Jamal Campbell who is hoping for a career in the media industry. "I didn't know how it was going to be because I had never played rugby before.

"But it has been brilliant. If I get a job I would recommend anyone to do it if they are unemployed."

School of Hard Knocks take place year long, and isn't only featured on the Sky Sports show. It's a recognised charity and if you'd like to get inolved or help out in any way, please visit their website.

School of Hard Knocks is a social inclusion programme, tackling unemployment and social disengagement through sport. Visit www.schoolofhardknocks.org.uk to find out more.

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