Axminster teenager gets a masterclass in outdoor crafts from Ray Mears

PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 May 2016 | UPDATED: 09:01 25 May 2016

Axminster teenager Brad Skilton with Ray Mears of the Land Rover HITZ programme Picture: onEdition.

Axminster teenager Brad Skilton with Ray Mears of the Land Rover HITZ programme Picture: onEdition.


An Axminster teenager received a masterclass in wilderness craft from survival expert Ray Mears during a two-day course on the East Sussex downs.

Brad Skilton, 19, is a member of the Exeter Chiefs HITZ programme, designed to get wayward teens back into education, using sport.

He joined up with programme members from five other Aviva Premiership Rugby sides for the crash-course in shelter building, making fire and plant identification, and admitted the day would live long in his memory.

“Ray making fire was amazing; learning how to use what’s around you to make a fire was brilliant,” said Brad.

“The whole experience is new. I’ve done camping before, but this is more survival, not really camping, so it’s great to be able to be here - they are great skills to have.

“Before I started HITZ I was at home looking for jobs, but now I’ve got things to do and will be staying on with HITZ for another course to gain more experience - I’m really looking forward to it. I want to coach at Exeter City Football Club and HITZ has given me the chance for that to be a reality.

“It’s made me a lot more confident. I can speak out a bit more and I can help others more now.”

HITZ uses rugby and other sports to bring disaffected 16 to 19-year-olds back into education and give them a chance in life.

Land Rover is a partner of HITZ, the sport for change programme, and with the help of Land Rover ambassador and explorer Ray Mears, was providing HITZ participants with a unique outdoor experience as reward for their progress on the HITZ programme. @LandRoverRugby #WeDealInReal

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