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Barry And District News:

THE Welsh Rugby Union has lent its support to a rugby charity in the fight against unemployment.

Last year the School of Hard Knocks partnered with the WRU to launch the Back in the Game project, a five-day online course aimed at helping those connected with rugby who have been made redundant during the pandemic get back in to work.

The next course is scheduled for Monday, February 22.

School of Hard Knocks Cymru director Catryn Grundy is pleased with the results so far and recognised the importance of the sport at these times.

She said: “Rugby has always been a source of community and hope for the most disadvantaged communities. The heart of those communities is the rugby club and it always has been.

“It’s a massive community. The pandemic has had a massive effect and the latest unemployment figures reflect that.

“The nature and beauty of rugby is that you’ve got people from all socio-economic groups coming together to form a team and that’s something we really believe in; the power of the team.”

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Ms Grundy added that she was delighted with the efforts put in by the WRU to tackle unemployment during the pandemic.

She continued: “I’m grateful that the WRU feel as we do. They picked up this programme as a pilot and they really put a lot of faith in us.

“In those early days they went beyond what I saw from any other national governing body of any sport. For them to invest in the community in the way they did took real courage and demonstrated how important it was for them to go above and beyond for the rugby community.”

Each course is open to 15 participants and is run Monday to Friday from 9.30am until midday.

There are three parts to the course, physical well-being, psychology and employability with guest trainers such as Wales Women’s Alecs Donovan and personal trainer Richard Hughes.

School of Hard Knocks Cymru was launched in 2016 and Ms Grundy has used her background in social housing to make a difference.

She added: “Everything we do is really inclusive. We’ve had amazing outcomes but quite low numbers so it would be good to change that.

For more information or to sign up to a course you can visit their website at www.schoolofhardknocks.org.uk/forms/back-in-the-game-wru

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