WO1 Lee Cole talks to us about being part of the Rugby for Heroes family

As a charity, we strive to build strong and lasting relationships with current and former service personnel who are embarking on their transition to civilian life. And as someone who has been through our Transition Through Rugby course, Lee is one of those.

Since his initial course, he’s become rather a permanent fixture for the charity; supporting future courses, arranging events and even running out for the charity rugby team alongside some legends of the game in a remembrance match to mark the First World War Armistice.

Lee is now the charity’s Events Secretary and an integral part of a volunteer team passionate about supporting service personnel during a challenging time.

We talked to Lee to find out a bit more about where he’s been, where he’s going and why he loves being part of the Rugby for Heroes family.

Tell us a bit about your life in the Army

I joined the Army in 1995 as an aviation engineer having no prior engineering experience. I’ve been really fortunate that my career has taken me to some very nice places as well as the usual not so nice ones.

As a young soldier I was stationed in Bosnia, Belize and Canada, as well as Germany and Cyprus. Great places to learn my trade. Recent deployments to Malaysia, Oman and Norway have kept the smile on my face after multiple trips to Iraq and Afghanistan.

As my career ends I know I’ve really embraced everything the Forces stand for and have some truly amazing memories and friends.

How are you finding the transition from military to civilian life?

 I am quite fortunate that the trade skills I have gathered over the years are standing me in a good place. I have been active in seeking my next career opportunity and have a few options open to me at the moment.

 I settled in Hampshire 9 years ago so have one less worry with my transition having already established a good local network.

What does being part of the Rugby for Heroes family mean to you?

 I love giving back to people. Attending each R4H course and helping those that are following in mine and others well trodden footsteps is very rewarding. Seeing people grow from the first day to the last on the course – developing as coaches is a real pleasure to be part of. Helping organise and attend the multiple charity events is very exciting and a real privilege.

 What would you say to someone thinking of applying for the TTR course?

Don’t delay. Get the application form filled in and get involved. You could be running out at Kingsholm or cycling to Paris before you know it!!!

Nicola

Nicola

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