Local 16 and 17-year-olds who are no longer at school can now resume or continue their education with the Youth Guarantee programme run in Te Awamutu.
Successful completion of the 36 week programme will lead to the Certificate in Sport, Health and Fitness and the National Certificate in Employment Skills (Level 1).
Open Wananga (a subsidiary company of Te Wananga o Aotearoa) usually run the home-based, part-time programmes for adults, but has now branched out to include two classes for youth, with a focus on sports and fitness.
With strong sporting leaders as the tutors, Youth Guarantee offers a unique opportunity for youth who want a future in the sporting industry whether it be playing, coaching, or sports therapy.
Students will be motivated and excited by the fun, and 'get out there and do' teaching methods that include fitness training and a variety of sports taught by a team of professionals.
On board is Deon Muir, the former Chiefs and Maori All Blacks captain.
He played professional rugby for over 15 years and is still heavily involved in Waikato rugby, coaching and development.
Muir is now the resource coach for the Youth Guarantee programme, focusing on coaching, rugby skills and health and fitness.
Puke Lendon is another tutor and is a former New Zealand professional basketball player.
He was a Waikato Piston for nine years and has played in four winning New Zealand national teams.
Bringing another element to the team of tutors is Ramari Kauluwehi, recovery specialist for the Chiefs who specialises in sports therapy and medicine. She is also a second dan black belt in jujutsu and karate.
And completing the tutorial team is Graeme Huia.
He has a long history in the delivery of education with Te Wananga o Aotearoa and the Open Wananga.
Locals will know him from his involvement as a coach in Te Awamutu basketball.
The Youth Guarantee programme aims at dispelling all barriers to education so students are provided with transportation to class every day and the programme is fee free.
The students also have access to a fully equipped gym, basketball courts, rugby fields and have breakfast provided every morning.
Enrolments are still open until the end of April. For more information contact Graeme Huia - 0800 135 135.