Fixtures - Top Bar

Vickery awards Ryan for going above and beyond

After he was handed a top honour at the HITZ Awards, Ryan Cummings admits the programme is to thank for turning his life around.

Ryan, a member of the HITZ programme run by Leicester Tigers, was presented with the Community Impact Award by World Cup winner and Wooden Spoon lead ambassador Phil Vickery at the inaugural ceremony evening earlier this month.
 
 
HITZ is Premiership Rugby's multi award-winning programme that uses rugby to tackle some of the greatest challenges facing young people today – unemployment, crime and disillusionment.
 
Ryan said that he drifted after losing an apprenticeship with a carpentry firm but enrolling with HITZ was the beginning of a turnaround.
 
While part of the programme, he ran coaching sessions at local colleges and took the lead in organising a national HITZ touch rugby tournament before the London Double Header at Twickenham – earning him the coveted Community Impact Award.
 
“It was a bit of a shock really because I thought one of the other lads was going to win it but I’m thankful that they picked me to get the award,” he said.
 
“HITZ has definitely made me more confident – it has given me more drive and motivation to get things done.
 
“I was a bit lazy before and I didn’t really feel like I was worth anything – there were some days after I lost my apprenticeship with the carpentry firm that I would just stay up all night. But this gave me the drive to get up every morning – I wanted to work and wanted to do better.
 
“I wanted to make an impact with lots of different things throughout the community and it felt really good.
 
“I’d definitely say to someone who isn’t in work or in school to get along to their local HITZ programme. It will help them get back on track and to where they want to be.”
 
Vickery was a key cog in England’s famous 2003 Rugby World Cup triumph but says his own struggles to reach the pinnacle of the sport meant he was inspired by Ryan’s efforts.
 
“There were some tough times for me growing up and the only place I actually felt really happy was on a rugby field,” said Vickery.
 
“We talk about community, charity and giving and I think rugby is the one sport that is a giving sport. It’s a brilliant game and to see the work HITZ does is unbelievable.
 
“HITZ is leading the way with this kind of work – not waiting for something to go wrong but leading the way and pushing the boundaries.”
 
Ryan's award was supported by Wooden Spoon the children’s charity of rugby and Jai Purewal, the charity’s head of community investment, says Wooden Spoon could not be more proud of how far HITZ has come in such a short space of time.
 
“I think the beauty of HITZ is that we see young people at their lowest ebb when the HITZ officers go into the community and find these young people who are, for all intents and purposes, lost,” he said.
 
“But then we see them at every stage of their development until they are at events like this awards evening, thriving.
 
“The Community Impact Award was looking for that person that has gone above and beyond and really given back to society.
 
“I was delighted to see Ryan win it. He’s a really deserving winner and we wish him all the very best for the future.”
 
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.
 

Latest News

Chiefs side to face Newcastle Falcons

Rob Baxter may be wary of the threat Newcastle Falcons pose to his Exeter side, but insists its challenges such…

Waldrom

Wasps team to play Gloucester at the Ricoh Arena this Sunday

Director of Rugby Dai Young has named the Wasps’ side to take on Gloucester at the Ricoh Arena this Sunday,…

Le Roux Wasps

Sale Sharks Team News

Sale Sharks have named their side to take on Saracens in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday (kick off 2.45pm)  at…

Josh Charnley

Newcastle Falcons team to face Exeter Chiefs

Newcastle Falcons have made three changes ahead of Saturday’s Aviva Premiership trip to Exeter Chiefs (kick-off 3pm). Chris Harris replaces…

Evan Olmstead

Gloucester Rugby make two changes for Sunday’s trip to Wasps

Gloucester Rugby keep faith with the majority of the side that started against Saracens last weekend, making just two changes…

Lewis Ludlow

Bristol Rugby team to face Bath Rugby

Bristol Rugby play host to Bath Rugby in the much-anticipated West Country derby on Sunday (1pm KO). Mark Tainton’s men…

Gavin Henson

Saracens name team for Sale clash

Saracens have named their team to face Sale Sharks in Saturday’s round 16 Aviva Premiership clash at Allianz Park, kick-off…

Joel Conlon

Annett and Dowson return for Saints test

Niall Annett and Phil Dowson are among three changes to the Warriors starting line-up for their trip to Franklin’s Gardens…

Phil Dowson

Northampton Saints team news versus Worcester

The Northampton Saints team has been named for Saturday’s Aviva Premiership Round 16 home match against Worcester. The Saints head…

Michael Paterson

RFU Disciplinary: Francois Louw

An appeal against the sanction imposed on Francois Louw of Bath Rugby was heard by an RFU Disciplinary appeal panel…

AUDIO: Preview of this weekend’s Six Nations and Aviva Premiership action

It's the third round of matches in the Six Nations Championship this weekend, while action also continues in the Aviva…

Twickenham Stoop

England team to face Italy at Twickenham

Eddie Jones has named his side for England’s RBS 6 Nations game against Italy at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday (kick-off…

Saints eleven pen new deals

Northampton Saints has today announced new deals with 11 members of the current squad. Three of the more experienced players,…

Luther Burrell

Symons wants Gloucester Rugby to kick-on against Wasps

Just three points separates Gloucester Rugby and sixth-placed Harlequins and centre Andy Symons is determined to see the Cherry &…

Bath Rugby surpass 40,000 ticket sales for The Clash

Bath Rugby is thrilled to confirm that over 40,000 tickets have been sold for The Clash, when they will take…

Bath Rugby

Evans determined for a Harlequins top-six finish

Harlequins fly-half Nick Evans is determined to drive Harlequins to a top-six finish as the Aviva Premiership Rugby season reaches…

We’ll expect a physical test against Saints, says Worcester’s Ben Howard

Ben Howard is expecting a big, physical battle when his Worcester Warriors side face Northampton Saints on Saturday. Full-back Howard,…

Evans and Lambert return to the starting line-up for the visit of Leicester Tigers

Harlequins has announced the team to play Leicester Tigers in Round 15 of the Aviva Premiership tomorrow at The Stoop,…

Nick Evans

Leicester Tigers team news ahead of Aviva Premiership trip to The Stoop

Lachlan McCaffrey and Peter Betham return to the Leicester Tigers team for Friday's Aviva Premiership Round 16 fixture away to…

Peter Betham