An inspirational young person from Bath Rugby’s HITZ programme, Megan Baron, has been recognised with a nomination for the Academic Achievement Award at the this year’s HITZ Awards, alongside counterparts at Exeter Chiefs and Gloucester Rugby.
HITZ is Premiership Rugby’s award-winning education and employability programme which supports young people to make positive changes in their life.
Working with more than 2,000 14-23 year-olds across England every year, the programme focuses on developing the personal, life and employability skills of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET).
Supported by the CVC Foundation and Wooden Spoon, HITZ is delivered nationally by Premiership Rugby’s 13 shareholder clubs with our official education partner, SCL Education Group.
HITZ uses rugby’s core values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship to get young people back into education, training, apprenticeships or employment.
The Academic Achievement Award, supported by SCL Education Group, recognises academic progress which young people have made since joining the programme. This award shines a light on a group of young people who were previously disenfranchised from or disillusioned with education have turned their lives around.
Megan Baron - Bath Rugby
Megan had been left frustrated and angry with education, feeling like she was treated unfairly because of her ADHD and her dreams of university dampened. Fast forward to today, Megan has grown in confidence thanks to HITZ, passing her Level 2 Sports Coaching qualification as well as GCSEs in Maths and English. She is now hoping to secure a scholarship to a University in the USA to continue her education and opportunities to play rugby.
Cai O'Shaughnessy - Exeter Chiefs
Having previously left school in Year 10 with no qualifications, the HITZ programme has allowed Cai to regain his confidence and find a passion for sport. He obtained GCSEs in Maths and English and is now at college studying personal training. Cai lost over four stone through HITZ and he wants to use his experience to inspire others.
Leah Cromwell - Gloucester Rugby
Leah struggled with her mental health due to a difficult home life which left her in care and excluded from school. Thanks to HITZ, she is now on her way to becoming a health and social care worker after receiving support through the programme and obtaining qualifications that helped her secure a college place.
Stuart Allen, Group Director of Operations at SCL Education Group, praised all three nominees for their perseverance. He said: “What was quite inspiring about these three nominees was that they’ve all come from very challenging backgrounds. Whether that’s to do with a family member or difficulties at school, they’ve started at a point that has been really challenging.
“Despite their challenging situations, they’ve managed to develop the attitude and skills that have allowed them to progress onto something so positive, which may not have been possible without the support and guidance of HITZ. Their backgrounds have caused many barriers, but these young people have overcome those challenges to attain what can only be described as incredible academic achievements, and they deserve to be recognised.
“If it wasn’t for the HITZ programme, and more importantly if it wasn’t for their decision to take the support that they’ve got from the programme, they’d never be in the position they are now.”
The award winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony at the Twickenham Stoop on 17 November. To follow all the news from the event use #HITZAwards or to find out more about HITZ click here.