PREMIERSHIP RUGBY has announced James Cameron (Leicester Tigers), Anthony Chambers (Exeter Chiefs), Lacey Marshall (Sale Sharks), Stephanie Rawlings (Harlequins) and Shannon Slattery (Sale Sharks) as the five finalists for the HITZ Young Ambassador of the Year Award supported by Land Rover. This award will be presented at the HITZ Awards on February 4.
The HITZ Young Ambassador of the Year Award, supported by Land Rover, 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.
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, Land Rover is supporting the HITZ Young Ambassador of the Year Award and is proud to be able to recognise the progress made by the programmes youngsters.
“You only have to look at some of the things that have been documented about a number of the young people nominated for the Ambassador of the Year Award I judged and the HITZ programme has genuinely been life-changing for them,” says Rob Lummis, Jaguar Land Rover’s head of employee experiences.
“The values of rugby resonate with Land Rover. From a rugby point of view ‘Above and Beyond’ is something that is synonymous with rugby’s values and the Ambassador of the Year Award.”
HITZ Awards – Young Ambassador of the Year shortlist
- James Cameron – Leicester Tigers
- Anthony Chambers – Exeter Chiefs
- Lacey Marshall – Sale Sharks
- Stephanie Rawlings – Harlequins
- Shannon Slattery – Sale Sharks
Sam Swift the HITZ officer at Leicester Tigers said, “James (Cameron) suffered from extreme anxiety and a complex speech impediment but having initially had reservations about joining HITZ, he went on to be an example for what the programme stands for. His likable personality and hard work resulted in Leicester Tigers offering him a position on the match day staff to help with the entertainment and marketing activities.”
By his own admission, Anthony (Chambers) entered HITZ with “No qualifications, no ambition and no belief.” He went on to become a leader and is now determined to find employment to build a better life for himself and his family. His extra out-of-hours work experience with one of the HITZ partners has led to an apprenticeship offer.
Tom Leader the HITZ officer at Sale Sharks said, “Lacey (Marshal) has had a tough start to life; she currently lives in an all-girls hostel. She was permanently excluded from two schools but finished the HITZ programme with a level 2 in both English and Maths functional skills and a level 1 CYQ Award in Lifestyle Management.
“Shannon (Slattery) had previously dropped out of two college courses before attending HITZ and was unsure where her life was heading. But she went on to be a great ambassador for the programme, speaking at Land Rover’s ‘Seeing is Believing’ in London, events with Barclays and at the HITZ Business Breakfasts. Her kindness and positive attitude also saw her earn a work placement at Zen Office.”
Stephanie (Rawlings) describes joining HITZ as being the “single greatest thing that has happened to my life” after losing hope for the future. Paul Wilson the HITZ officer at Harlequins said, “Stephanie has gone on to be a great ambassador for the programme, speaking about HITZ at Harlequins’ end of season awards dinner, the Beyond Sport conference and a number of sponsor events. She is now in full-time employment but will continue to speak at HITZ events.”
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.