Today we complete the School of Hard Knocks with the final two episodes, as well as some updates, and a chat to one of the participants. It was a fantastic eight week-long project, and has yet again made genuine changes to the lives of those involved.
If you haven’t watched the show yet, go ahead and watch the two parts below, but be sure to come back and read more as we’ve caught up with one of the standout leaders, Michael Finnegan, to find out what he and some of the other guys are up to lately.
He told us that the experience has made a ‘real and lasting difference in my life’.
“We trained with World Cup winners and had Shaun Edwards as our defensive coach for the day. The whole experience has been amazing and I’ve made some friends for life from it all,” he said.
“Myself, Colin, Bruno, Hames, Lee and Jack Cannon, Pedro, Louis, Demitrius, and Daniel are meeting up at the end of the month for a few beers in Central London.
“Over the last couple of weeks I have been working with Saracens and Hitz Rugby as a community coach. I’m currently looking for full-time employment and I continue to play rugby wherever a prop is needed,” Michael said.
He also explained that the charity he was working on (as mentioned at the end of the show) isn’t going ahead unfortunately, as the setup costs are too steep at this stage.
Some recent updates on a few of the guys:
Pedro: Studying for an HND in IT at London School of Science and Technology. He is hoping to get CISCO qualified as well and is seeking sponsorship and an internship to help him achieve these goals. He continues to play rugby Haringey Rhinos.
Bruno: Is currently playing for Southend RFC but Lyn Jones is keen to get him involved in the London Welsh set up, providing that his basic skill sets improve. Southend play in the 4th tier of English Rugby. He is working closely with Michael Henderson, and wants to get a professional qualification in the fitness industry.
Colin: Just got a job in recruitment and starts in June. He continues to perform in Comedy clubs across London, and is playing rugby for Haringey Rhinos.
Louis: He still works as a DJ part time and has been training as a wide receiver for an American Football team in north London, but rugby is his passion, and he will be training with Blackheath from July. He is available for full time work opportunities.
Anthony: Is currently working for Paddy Power and plays for Shooters Hill RFC.
James: Plays Rugby for Edinburgh Northern RFC and has just finished his internship with Grant Thornton. He wants to train as a teacher and is working towards his coaching badges.
Many of the participants are still looking for full-time employment, so if you can help out in any way, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Ken Cowan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, thanks to Sky Sports for a brilliant production, and everyone else involved. Both parts below are over 45 minutes long, but extrememly inspirational, enjoyable, and well worth watching.