Two inspiring individuals from Bath Rugby will have their commitment and hard work celebrated after being nominated for prizes at this year’s HITZ Awards.
HITZ is Premiership Rugby’s award-winning education and employability programme, which works with over 2,000 disadvantaged 14-19 year-olds across England every year.
And to celebrate the hard work put in by countless individuals up and down the country, the 2017 HITZ Awards will take place on November 21 at the BT Centre in a glittering London ceremony.
There are five gongs on offer during the evening, with members of the HITZ programme at Bath Rugby nominated in two categories.
The HITZ Champion award recognises an individual who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to support HITZ participants to overcome personal barriers, with Bath Rugby’s Jonti Johnson one of three finalists.
Meanwhile, Jake Britton is up for the HITZ Young Ambassador award, the prize rewarding an individual who has done the most to represent the HITZ programme to their peers and in their communities, identifying someone who has grown and changed for the better, and whose positive attitude has made an impact on those involved in and around the programme.
Wayne Morris, Premiership Rugby Community and CSR Director, said: “The judges and I were mightily impressed by each of the nominees – reading them really did bring home the power of the programme to change lives, and also highlights the dedication and commitment of our HITZ teams in supporting these young people to achieve such fantastic things.
“It was a very tough afternoon’s judging! In some ways it’s a good problem to have, but it does make the shortlisting process very challenging.
“However, each of our expert judges rose to the occasion, carefully considering each application and challenging each other to do a great job!
“Their commitment really reflects the invaluable input of our partners into HITZ, without whom the programme wouldn’t be possible.”
Jonti is the manager of the Fitness First Bath Centre and has built a great rapport with the HITZ programme, offering free sessions and even personal training sessions to learners.
As for Jake, he was referred to the HITZ programme in January 2017 after dropping out of college and becoming shy and withdrawn following family issues.
He is now a massive character and a natural leader that others in the HITZ programme at Bath look up to, even travelling one-and-a-half hours each morning and night to attend.
“The HITZ programme has really gone from strength-to-strength, which is very obvious in the quality of these nominations alone,” Wayne added.
“What struck me the most is the breadth of backgrounds and experiences of the young people on the programme, as well as the barriers they’ve overcome to participate.
“We are delighted that HITZ is having such an impact on the lives of young people right across the country.”
This year’s glittering HITZ Awards will take place at the BT Centre on Tuesday 21 November where participants, mentors and rugby stars past and present will gather to celebrate the programme’s achievements. Follow all the action at @HITZRugby