TOP BAR - Fixtures

HITZ Champion Award shortlist

Premiership Rugby has announced Sale Sharks’ Ian Fennell, Wasps’ Danielle Mallinson and Worcester Warriors’ David Peplow as the three finalists for the HITZ Champion award supported by Comic Relief. This award will be presented at the HITZ Awards on 28 November.

Through the power of rugby, HITZ tackles head on some of the greatest challenges facing young people today like crime, mental health challenges and unemployment.

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

As a national HITZ partner, Comic Relief is supporting the Champion award, and Charlene McKenna – a senior account manager in UK fundraising and partnerships – who helped judge the awards, could hardly believe the difference the three entrants made.

“The Champion award is for a person who has worked to support a HITZ member,” she said. “So the award recognises the journey travelled by the HITZ participant and the impact of the support of the champion.

“We wanted to make sure we were looking at the actual impact and the social outcomes that had been achieved by the HITZ participants.

“The three people we shortlisted we felt went above and beyond their remit, there were many areas where they helped the young person when they didn’t necessarily have to.

“I think that has really helped the young person to achieve their goals.”

HITZ Champion Award – shortlist

  • Ian Fennell – Sale Sharks
  • Danielle Mallinson – Wasps
  • David Peplow – Worcester Warriors

Sale Sharks’ Ian Fennell helped participant Claudette overcome the anger issues that were impacting her education. Claudette struggled following the death of her father and Ian supported Claudette in her search for and ultimate success in finding full-time work.

Wasps’ nominee Danielle Mallinson has been shortlisted for her support of HITZ participant Paul, who tragically lost his mother to cancer during his time on the scheme. Danielle would go above and beyond to make sure Paul could make lessons, putting on extra classes to ensure he did not miss out, driving him home and helping him speak to his mother during the final days of her life.

Worcester Warriors’ David Peplow completes the shortlist after he used his military background and training exercises to galvanise a group of participants with a wide range of personal and psychological issues. David somehow managed to traverse anxiety, depression, drug addiction, homelessness, low self-esteem and serious anger problems to galvanise a group who had tried almost every other form of education available.

HITZ aims to increase young people’s resilience, self-reliance and confidence and gives them the skills to get back into education, apprenticeships and employment.

And McKenna admits she was honoured to help judge the entries after seeing all of the HITZ success stories.

She added: “It’s wonderful to be a part of these awards and to be judging them. The award ceremonies are a fantastic opportunity to actually meet the young person and that is what our work at Comic Relief is all about.

“Helping young people from a disadvantaged backgrounds and seeing them achieve their goals and making progress in their life is great to see, and is really helped by the work of the champions.”

This year’s glittering HITZ awards will take place at Barclays HQ on the Monday 28 November, where participants, mentors, and former international rugby stars alike will gather to celebrate the programme’s achievements.

HITZ is 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 and gives them the skills to get back into education, apprenticeships and employment.

Latest News

Singha Premiership Rugby 7s live on BT Sport with highlights on Channel 5

Channel 5’s landmark coverage of domestic rugby begins in earnest this week, with the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s finally returning…

Saracens name squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

Tom Whiteley will skipper a youthful Saracens side in this weekend’s Singha 7s tournament at Franklin’s Gardens, after the Men…

Tom Whiteley

Will Homer to captain Bath Rugby at the Singha 7s

Will Homer will captain Bath Rugby at the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s this weekend at Franklin’s Gardens, Northampton. The scrum-half,…

Will Homer

Saints squad announced for Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens Series 

The Northampton Saints squad has been announced for this weekend’s Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens Series, which is being played in…

Jamie Elliott

Harlequins announce squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

Henry Cheeseman will captain the 12-man squad against Gloucester Rugby and London Irish in Pool B of the Singha 7s.…

Henry Cheeseman

Wasps name squad for 2017 Premiership Rugby Singha 7s

Wasps have today named their squad for the 2017 Premiership Rugby Singha 7s, which will be hosted at Franklin’s Gardens…

Dan Robson

London Irish name squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

London Irish have named their side for the 2017 Singha Premiership Rugby 7s, which will be held at Northampton Saints’…

Rory BRand

Harlequins set for pre-season training camp at adidas’ German HQ

Following the conclusion of the Premiership Rugby Singha 7s series this weekend, Harlequins travel to Herzogenaurach to continue their pre-season…

Harlequins set for pre-season training camp at adidas’ German HQ

Chiefs sign van der Sluys

Exeter Chiefs have bolstered their squad ahead of the new 2017/18 season with the acquisition of powerful South African lock…

Wilhelm van der Sluys

Sharks Announce Exciting Squad For Singha 7s

Sale Sharks can announce an exciting squad to take part in the Premiership Rugby Singha 7's this weekend at Franklin's…

Paolo Odogwu

Leicester Tigers Singha Premiership Rugby 7s team announcement

Leicester Tigers have named their squad for the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s. Tigers take on Newcastle Falcons and Wasps on…

Alex Glashan

Will Kaye set for birthday to remember with Leicester Tigers

Leicester Tigers’ new link-up with Loughborough University will provide youngster Will Kaye with an unforgettable birthday present. The Loughborough student…

Cameron Cowell captains Newcastle Falcons in Singha 7s

England 7s international Cameron Cowell will captain Newcastle Falcons in this week's Singha Premiership Rugby 7s at Northampton's Franklin's Gardens.…

Cameron Cowell

Stelling to lead Warriors at Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens

Max Stelling will lead Warriors in the new-look Singha Premiership Sevens this weekend at Northampton Saints’ Franklin’s Gardens. Stelling, who…

Max Stelling

Exeter Chiefs name squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

Ricky Pellow says Exeter Chiefs are relishing the chance to kick-off the new 2017/18 season with a big showing at…

Max Bodilly

Gloucester Rugby confirm squad for this weekend’s Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

The 12-man Gloucester Rugby squad for this weekend’s Singha Premiership Rugby 7s action has been named, with an exciting young…

Ollie Thorley will feature for the Cherry & Whites

Worcester Warriors get set for this weekend’s Singha 7s with Gordon Ross in charge

Worcester Warriors are looking to their experienced 7s players to make an impact in the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s tournament…

Gordon Ross

Adam Radwan ready to fly for Newcastle Falcons in Singha 7s action

Having lit up last season’s Singha Premiership Rugby 7s, Newcastle Falcons flyer Adam Radwan is determined to do the same…

Adam Radwan

Singha 7s is a ‘brilliant tournament’ says Harlequins’ Ross Chisholm

Harlequins full-back Ross Chisholm is urging his up-and-coming compatriots to grab their Singha Premiership Rugby 7s opportunity with both hands.…

Ross Chisholm