Village Community Services Trust founder and former All Black Michael Jones says the Sports Academy equips students with qualifications to prepare them for tertiary education.
‘‘For whatever reasons school doesn’t work for some youth and this provides them with a vehicle to get to the next steps,’’ he says.
Jones studied an economic and geography masters at Auckland University while he was wearing the black jersey and says education has always been important to him.
‘‘I was lucky enough to be able to live my dream of playing for my country while studying. You have to marry your dream as a sportsman with a good education that can lead you to a real job. Rugby and sport can be so fickle. One day you’re in and you can be out the next if you receive an injury.’’
Balance: Trust founder and former All Black Michael Jones says it is important for youth to combine a love of sport with a good education.