Many of you will have seen the programme on Sky Sports, School of Hard Knocks.
It takes people who have had hard lives or committed crimes and tries to use rugby as a force for good in their lives, with former England and Wales internationals, and British and Irish Lions, Will Greenwood and Scott Quinnell, coaching the team that is put together.
What many will not know is that the charity has grown considerably in recent times, and now there is a concept known as School of Hard Knocks for Schools, which offers a rugby and mentoring programme that helps children who are disengaged from school realise their potential, and change the way that they think and behave.
This can run for up to three years, with pupils generally identified in year 9 as being at most risk of exclusion and generally struggling for motivation and a sense of engagement.
School of Hard Knocks then helps them participate in a life development programme that is healthy, fun, challenging and enriching. Clear individual targets are set out in consultation with their schools in terms of attendance, academic achievement and behaviour.
The School of Hard Knocks coaches mentor and develop these pupils through rugby every week. The projects are set up all around the country, with one school that the charity works with being the East London School, Caridnal Pole.
The school had never played rugby, but last week School of Hard Knocks took them to Haileybury College to play their first ever game of rugby against a mixed Haileybury 2nd XV and 3rd XV side.
The game was played in a fine spirit, with Haileybury lending a couple of players to the cause in James White and Tom Major, with the Hertforshire side going on to win the game.
The result was near enough to the last thing on everyone’s mind though, with the game itself and the experience being the most important thing. It was a game remembered for the barnstorming runs from the likes of Deysharn Shaw, and big hits from Guilherme Fernandes Djalo and Terrique Tomlin, while in Rashane Headley Cardinal Pole had the outstanding player in the match.
It was a game that was all about bringing joy, experience, and life lessons, and it certainly did that.
School of Hard Knocks are currently funding for SOHK Schools to deliver more schools programmes in South London, if you would like to know more about the programme or generously make a small donation to aid to their work then please follow the link below.