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School of Hard Knocks
School of Hard Knocks 



End of term report

 School of Hard Knocks Series 7 will conclude this Wednesday with a game against Moseley Oak RFC at 16.30  

This match forms half of the twin culminations of the course, which has been based at Moseley RFC since early February.  The other peak is a jobs fair of local and national employers on the Monday preceding the game.

 We play a final match for two principal reasons.  The first is to celebrate the achievement of the boys in completing the programme, giving them a chance to perform in front of loved ones, friends and mentors from other areas of their lives.  The second is to show them that, with the right attitude and sufficient commitment, just about anything is possible. 

 It really is quite remarkable to think that, of the side that will take the field on Wednesday, only one had any rugby experience beyond compulsory PE at school.  To be able to compete with an established side after just sixteen training sessions (four of which contained no rugby at all) is actually an astonishing progression, and aligns strongly with the key Hard Knocks principle of pushing oneself to achieve above and beyond expectations.

 Of course, the size of the celebration at the final game is hugely dependent on the local rugby community, and this is where we hope Moseley, it supporters and the wider rugby family in Birmingham can support us.  A large crowd makes an enormous difference to the squad and playing in front of enthusiastic support is often one of the biggest achievements in the boys’ lives.  We like to talk about boys becoming men on School of Hard Knocks – I can certainly say that the lads walk off a good foot taller than when they ran on, when they get a good cheer from the locals.

 The Hard Knocks charity would also love to see as many local rugby fans as possible in order to promote the wonderful support we have had from Moseley as a club.  In no particular order, Tommo, Tina and Bill have been unfailingly helpful, going far beyond the call of duty to help with whatever we have needed – and there are many more involved in both the professional and amateur clubs who have assisted us on an ad hoc basis (too many to mention, in fact – my apologies to those I have not picked out by name).  Although rugby is a very supportive sport, I can say without hesitation that Moseley has been, by a distance, the most helpful and obliging set up we have ever worked with. 

 Accordingly, we would love it if our final game could bring the local rugby family together for a pint in the bar with Will, Scott, the boys and the Moseley squads, thus putting something back into the club that has made us feel so welcome.  The charity is also delighted to be able to ‘buy a brick’ for the forthcoming stand redevelopment, to commemorate our time at the club.  As a final incentive, we are hoping to have several famous figures from the rugby world and beyond in attendance…(Including International Referee Nigel Owens officiating the game

Although we won’t truly know the success of the programme until after the jobs fair and the final game, Series 7 has already provided a typically powerful combination of profound experiences, moving stories and life-changing moments.  The charity behind the show will of course continue to deliver Hard Knocks courses across the country, before the whole crew reassembles for Series 8 next spring.  In the meantime, we hope you will tune in to Series 7 when it is broadcast in September; and, more immediately, that we will be able to celebrate the programme with you on Wednesday.

Jack Lewars, Director of Operations, School of Hard Knocks

  A Very Special Visitor to Billesley

On Wednesday the club was privileged to play host to a rather special guest as part of the School of Hard Knocks Programme

Photo Photo

By all accounts the Prince enjoyed his visit and was gracious enough to help the club with a couple of very special prizes for the Spring Ball Auction!

Half Term Report

School of Hard Knocks continues to progress at Moseley, with the team now into its fifth week of training.  Basics such as handling, tackle and ruck technique, defending as a line and communication have been covered in detail, and the coaches are now starting to add the finer points, such as the set piece.  This last aspect will be supported by props and coaches from the Moseley first team, whose help is greatly appreciated.

Off the field, the boys have now completed a stringent programme of training in positive attitudes and values, anger management, overcoming fear, interview technique and CV-writing.  They have visited Gatwick airport to tackle simulated aviation blazes with the airport's fire fighters; conquered log runs, hill sprints, a tree top assault course and the world's longest zip wire in Wales; and been pushed to the limit in Moseley's own Rigs Fitness gym.

They have also been fortunate to hear the utterly inspirational Matt Hampson speak about his experiences as a tetraplegic former rugby player.

As the course reaches its last few weeks, the boys will have had their first conditioned training game on the afternoon of March 12th and will begin to focus on the twin pinnacles of the course - the jobs fair of local and national employers, and the final game against Moseley Oak RFC.  School of Hard Knocks would love to see a bumper crowd for this final fixture, to celebrate the boys' achievements and support Moseley RFC itself, whose staff and facilities have been fantastic throughout.  Watch this space for more details!

Jack Lewars

Director of Operations

School of Hard Knocks

School of Hard Knocks Comes to Billesley

The club is pleased to welcome the School of Hard Knocks charity to Billesley along with Sky TV presenters Will Greenwood & Scott Quinnell. The team are with us for a number of weeks, hosted by Moseley Oak, looking to  provide support and direction for a group of local young people, many getting their first taste of rugby. The series is scheduled to be televised in September 

PhotoThe social inclusion charity, featured on the series fronted by Scott Quinnell and Will Greenwood, will be filming season 7 in Birmingham and we are proud to say they have chosen Billesley Common and Moseley Oak to host the event. 

The School of Hard Knocks uses sport to help people who face issues of unemployment, antisocial behaviour Photocrime and health problems find a positive way forward in their lives. Through their rugby coaching programme the charity looks to improve self-esteem, provide direction and instil the values of teamwork to spur participants on to improving their life both on and off the sports field. The charity has had a remarkably high success rate in positioning participants to be able to find employment following completion of the course. 

The course starts on Tuesday 11th February for seven weeks culmination in a game to be played against Oak. Throughout the course Oak, and the wider Mosley Rugby community, will be looking to provide as much support as possible to this worthy enterprise. Coordination of communication with the school during the event will be channelled through Moseley Oak Chairman John Richards & Tony Caesar Vice President at Moseley. 

Oak Chairman John said 

Photo“I was delighted to be contacted by the School of Hard Knocks team from Sky TV and was equally pleased that Moseley Oak will be acting as hosts during the forthcoming project. 

It is an absorbing TV series and it’s focus on providing both opportunity and direction for local young people is entirely consistent with the philosophy of the family of Rugby Clubs at Moseley. 

The series concludes with a match against Moseley Oak and we look forward to making a contribution to what I’m sure will be a great occasion”. 

To find out more about the charity go to their website 

We will be keeping you up to date on how the course progresses.