News

HITZ scheme’s big impact

WHILE focused on lifting the skills of teenagers not in education, employment or training rather than trophies, the Wooden Spoon-supported HITZ programme boasts a win rate any team would envy.

Delivered by Premiership Rugby clubs, the social inclusion scheme supports 500 young people each year by entering them into personalised study programmes or traineeships. An incredible 80 per cent complete the course, of which 70 per cent progress into further education, training or employment.

And the stories of the names behind the numbers are equally impressive.

Ben, for example, spent most of his school years crippled by self-doubt as a consequence of his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

However, taking part in HITZ [at London Irish] – which was set up in 2009 with the aim of using rugby’s ethos and role models to combat the challenges facing Britain’s youth – has transformed the 18-year-old’s outlook on life.

“I am more confident than ever, I’ve really pushed hard and gained qualifications after three years of trying and I’m looking at a possible apprenticeship,” said Ben. “Everything is going right and the way I feel now I just don’t want to stop. My future is very bright.”

Read more about the HITZ programme in the next issue of Spoonews – in homes and rugby clubs nationwide from 1st September.