Having confidence can make all the difference to an ambitious youngster and for HITZ winner Jason Kitchin, he hopes it can help take him to new heights.
Jason scooped up the Young Achiever award thanks to his hard work and progression while part of the Wasps HITZ programme.
HITZ is Premiership Rugby’s award-winning education and employability programme, which works with over 2,000 disadvantaged 14-19 year-olds across England every year.
Jason was expelled from school due to his ASD and ADHD, soon becoming depressed after his mother Donna was diagnosed with cancer.
But thanks to the HITZ programme Jason has been accepted on to the Prince’s Trust programme and is looking to get back into education in order to achieve his dream of becoming a youth worker.
Jason has also gone on to achieve his Level Two Functional Skills in both maths and English, as well as a Level 1 Diploma in Sport and Active Leisure.
And after collecting the prestigious prize, Jason believes he can go from strength to strength in the work place, all thanks to the HITZ programme.
He said: “The HITZ programme has been great for me because it’s boosted my spirits up a lot and stopped me from taking drugs and smoking. I want to achieve something in life now.
“The guys at Wasps HITZ have done everything for me and more – there was one time I couldn’t make it in and (HITZ officer) Anthony (O’Reilly) came and gave me a lift into the session. They really go the extra mile.”
Jason beat Gloucester Rugby’s Tom Phillips and Charlie Hobbs of Harlequins to the gong on an exciting night at the BT Centre in November.
— HITZ (@HITZRugby) November 21, 2017
But the HITZ award-winner admitted he was a little nervous when it came to collecting the trophy.
Jason shared the stage with Wasps lock Kearnan Myall as he collected his award, something that will live long in the memory.
“I was nervous at first but then it hit me I was chosen as the winner – it’s incredible and I’m over the moon,” he said.
“I love the HITZ programme – I crashed my bike one morning on the way in, but I still walked two hours to get there as I had no other way of getting in, that’s how much it means to me.”