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Catch up with Ken Cowen and School of Hard Knocks

BY Grant Constable  ·  Wednesday Nov 21, 2012

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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