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Pupils short-listed for national HITZ Awards

1 December 2014

Bath Rugby Foundation are delighted that three participants on its award winning HITZ programme have been shortlisted in the Young Ambassador award supported by Land Rover, Community Impact Award supported by Wooden Spoon and the Best Rugby Performer Award categories at the annual awards ceremony on December 3rd in London.

The multi award-winning HITZ programme uses rugby to increase young people's resilience, self-reliance and confidence and gives them the skills to get back into education, apprenticeships and employment.

The Young Ambassador Award rewards the individual who has done the most to represent the HITZ programme to their peers and in their communities. It recognises someone who has grown and changed for the better and whose positive attitude has made an impact on those involved in and around the project.

Young Ambassador shortlist:

Relon Thompson, Northampton Saints
Josh Hardy, Sale Sharks
Jorden Honan, Bath Rugby

Relon relies fully on a wheelchair having been shot in the back in a case of mistaken identity in early 2013, while Josh and Jorden both grew up in rough areas with their family largely absent.

All three have conquered these difficulties through the HITZ programme by gaining qualifications, raising money for charity, and acting as fantastic role models for all of the other programme participants in their area.

The Community Impact Award is designed to recognise a HITZ young person who has contributed to the improvement of a community or club, through volunteering and service. The award looks at the impact of the young person's volunteering on the community, and also the impact of the volunteering on the HITZ participant themselves.

HITZ Awards – Community Impact shortlist:

Ryan Cummings, HITZ Leicester Tigers
Anthony Martin, HITZ Worcester Warriors
Sean Stark, HITZ Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby nominee Sean Stark struggled through school with bullying issues but since joining HITZ in February has achieved the highest attendance record to date and volunteered at every opportunity.

During the programme, Sean spent a lot of time assisting Christian sports group Get Sported and since leaving HITZ has continued to volunteer at match days and other Bath Rugby events.

The Rugby Performance Award rewards an individual who has developed and progressed in their rugby performance, physical activity levels and capabilities as a result of participating in the HITZ programme. This is not necessarily those that have progressed the furthest in terms of level of play, but those that have improved the most, changed their attitude toward activity and improved their health as a result.

HITZ Awards – Best Rugby Performer Nominees:

Ryan Hancock, HITZ Northampton Saints
Tom Rowthorne, HITZ Leicester Tigers
Jason Suttle, HITZ Bath Rugby

A lack of a healthy routine was preventing Bath Rugby nominee Jason Suttle from participating in sport until the HITZ programme gave him a new found love of the gym and rugby in particular.

After seeing his fitness levels drastically improve over the course of attending the HITZ programme, Jason decided to join a local rugby club and now plays two nights a week while also holding a part-time job with Bath Rugby on match days.

These are just a few of the stories from the 3,000 young people who the Premiership Rugby clubs work with through HITZ every year.

The award winning HITZ programme tackles some of the greatest challenges facing young people today – unemployment, crime and disillusionment. Delivered nationally by Premiership Rugby and funded by national partners Barclays, Comic Relief, Land Rover and Wooden Spoon, HITZ uses rugby to increase young people's resilience, self-reliance and confidence. It gives them the skills to get back into education, vocational training, apprenticeships and employment. Please visit hitzrugby.com to find out more.

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