This is how Fifers can take skills from the rugby pitch to help them get back into work

A project which aims to get people back into work using skills learned on the rugby pitch has returned to the Kingdom with classes starting next week.

By Darren Gibb
Thursday, 28th April 2022, 2:06 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th April 2022, 2:07 pm

The School of Hard Knocks will be running its eight week course from Glenrothes Rugby Club, starting on Wednesday, May 4.

The school is a social inclusion charity that uses lessons on the pitch alongside classroom-based activities to deliver life and employability skills to unemployed adults.

It also helps with goal-setting, anger and fear management, CV writing and interview preparation.

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Previous participants of the course.

These lessons come together with the ultimate aim of enabling participants to find employment – and to realise their potential.

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Focusing on wellbeing and employability, the course is eligible for any men over 18 who are looking to take a positive next step into employment, training or education.

Although it uses rugby skills to build confidence on and off the pitch, no prior fitness or experience of the sport is needed.

Kari Spence (far right) with some former School of Hard Knock participants.

Kari Spence, lead facilitator, said: “We are delighted to be delivering our sixth School of Hard Knocks course in Fife.

"With the world opening up to some form of normality I feel its a great time to deliver this course, it allows people to get back into a routine, realise their potential and take their next positive step forward, whether that’s back to employment, education or volunteering.

"The last few years have been very isolated, so being able to come along, meet new people and become part of a team and have a sense of belonging in itself is so impactful.”

Kari said that the school has so far worked with over 300 adults in Scotland since 2017, and that the majority of participants achieve a positive destination.

"Over 78 per cent of people who attend the school, across all courses, find positive destinations, whether it be finding work, entering further education, or training,” she said.

"All of the people who take part have agreed that fitness combined with classroom based employability classes really helps to lift morale and breakdown barriers.

"It can really take people out of their comfort zone, but we help to build confidence and participants are always amazed to see how big a change they have made by the end of the course.

She added: "Everyone on the course has a different story and background and it’s always inspiring to see the participants help and support each other on both the good and bad days.

“At the end of the eight weeks the guys will participate in a full contact game of rugby against Glenrothes RC, which is always the highlight of the course as the guys realise just how far they have come both as an individual but also as a team.

"It’s the perfect way to celebrate their achievements and allows the participants to leave the course on such a high.

"The school ultimately teaches people that when they get knocked down they can get back up again – it may not be easy but they can do it!”

If you would like to sign up for the course, please email: [email protected], or call: 07557 083925.