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HITZ Awards – HITZ Champion shortlist revealed


PREMIERSHIP RUGBY has announced Lacey Marshall and Ben Macdonald and Chris Dawson as the three finalists for the HITZ Champion Award supported by Comic Relief. This award will be presented at the HITZ Awards on 4 February.

The HITZ Champion Award recognizes an individual who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to support a HITZ participant to overcome their personal barriers.

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.

As a national HITZ partner, Comic Relief is supporting the Champion Award.

“The HITZ programme is doing brilliant work and Comic Relief is proud to have been involved for a number of years now,” said Comic Relief Sports Partnerships Manager Sam Shave.
“The Champion Award recognises those people who have gone above and beyond in the programme. We have a strong relationship with Premiership Rugby and their clubs always pull out all the stops to fundraise for Sport Relief. The social change brought about by the HITZ programme is very important for Comic Relief.”

HITZ Awards – Champion shortlist

  • Lacey Marshall – Sale Sharks
  • Ben Macdonald – Worcester Warriors
  • Chris Dawson – Northampton Saints

Tom Leader the HITZ officer at Sale Sharks said, “Lacey has a complicated living situation and is only allowed to see her family once a month while living in an all-girls hostel.

“On the HITZ programme she has taken time to work with Deland, a fellow learner, and helped him turn his life around. He is now on a pre-apprenticeship to become a floor and wall tiler and admits he never would have done so without Lacey’s support.”

Stuart Brooks the HITZ officer at Worcester Warriors said, “Over two years on the HITZ programme Ben helped countless young people from a wide range of backgrounds. Working both individually and in small groups.

“Ben has helped people with drug and alcohol issues, those looking to move out of homeless shelters and many other barriers, improving their long-term prospects with his tireless work.”

Matt Goode the HITZ officer at Northampton Saints said, “Chris is part of the teaching team from Northampton College but has worked to develop a wide network that supports all learners on the Northampton Project.”

All of the candidates shortlisted also act as fantastic role models for other HITZ participants in their area, who see their success and are motivated to set similar targets of their own. 

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 to find out more.

The HITZ Awards will take place on February 4.


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