PREMIERSHIP RUGBY has announced Connor Mitchell (Worcester Warriors), Ben Bradley (Bath Rugby), Jacob King (Bath Rugby) and Katie McGrory (Sale Sharks) as the four finalists for the HITZ Community Impact Award, supported by Wooden Spoon.
The Community Impact Award is all about the time and commitment given by a HITZ young person and recognises a HITZ participant’s contribution through volunteering and service.
It looks not only for the impact of the young person’s volunteering on the community, but also the impact of the volunteering on the HITZ participant themselves.
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.
And, as a national HITZ partner, Wooden Spoon is supporting the Community Impact award.
"Wooden Spoon are proud to support the HITZ programme and see first-hand how these young people grow in confidence." said Matt Mitchell, Rugby Manager for Wooden Spoon.
"All the nominees are strong contenders for this award and it will be a close call. One of the most important things is how they have embraced their new-found skills and apply them in all areas of their lives."
HITZ Awards – Community Impact award shortlist:
Connor Mitchell – Worcester Warriors
Ben Bradley – Bath Rugby
Jacob King – Bath Rugby
Katie McGrory – Sale Sharks
Stuart Brooks the HITZ officer for Worcester Warriors said, “Behavioural and anger issues haunted Connor’s everyday actions before he came across HITZ. Now, Connor has become more relaxed and found a new respect for those less fortunate than himself.
“He made great strides and to this day has maintained his new found skills, using them to help others from within the project and the wider community.”
Stephen Barber the HITZ officer at Bath Rugby said, “Ben has come a long way from the disengaged young person who would only turn up for an hour a week at best. Volunteering for the foundation gave him a massive confidence boost and a new-found drive and determination to go into the sports industry.
“Jacob was lacking in confidence when he began the HITZ programme and would often get very defensive, putting up a guard and not letting you in. He has gone on to become a highly motivated young person who has the confidence and ability to be a lead sports coach in the community.”
Tom Leader the HITZ officer at Sale Sharks said, “When Katie first started with us at HITZ she was very reserved and quiet, especially when in a larger group. The volunteering challenged Katie to manage her time and make sacrifices to her own personal life to help give back to the younger community in Rochdale.”
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 hitzrugby.com to find out more.
The HITZ Awards will take place on February 4.