Youngsters from Bath Rugby, Sale Sharks and Wasps will have their hard work celebrated after being nominated for the HITZ Young Ambassador award, supported by Premiership Rugby.
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.
And to celebrate the hard work put in by countless individuals up and down the country, the 2017 HITZ Awards will take place on November 21 at the BT Centre in a glittering London ceremony.
One of the five gongs on offer is the HITZ Young Ambassador award, rewarding an individual who has done the most to represent the HITZ programme to their peers and in their communities.
The award recognises someone who has grown and changed for the better, and whose positive attitude has made an impact on those involved in and the programme, and that is certainly the case for this year’s nominees – Bath Rugby’s Jake Britton, Odin Quinn of Sale Sharks, and Carter Moran from Wasps.
Wayne Morris, Premiership Rugby Community and CSR Director, said: “The judges and I were mightily impressed by each of the nominees – reading them really did bring home the power of the programme to change lives, and also highlights the dedication and commitment of our HITZ teams in supporting these young people to achieve such fantastic things.
“It was very tough afternoon’s judging! In some ways it’s a good problem to have, but it does make the shortlisting process very challenging.
“However, each of our expert judges rose to the occasion, carefully considering each application and challenging each other to do a great job!
“Their commitment really reflects the invaluable input of our partners into HITZ, without whom the programme wouldn’t be possible.”
Jake was referred to the HITZ programme in January 2017 after dropping out of college and become despondent with life following family issues. But he is now a massive character and a natural leader that others in the HITZ programme at Bath look up to, even travelling one-and-a-half hours each morning and night to attend.
Odin was 20 when he joined the HITZ programme at Sale Sharks in September 2016 and suffered with learning difficulties and a severe lack of confidence. He was rejected by a local college and felt as though he had no viable options, until he joined the HITZ programme as he has gone on to upskill himself, completing a work placement at Moorgate Catering and gaining confidence and new skills.
And the final nominee is Carter, who missed out on the majority of his secondary school life after being bullied by his peers due to the condition Gender Dysphoria, where a person experiences discomfort or distress due to a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity.
However, since joining the HITZ programme in February 2016, Carter has a new-found confidence and can-do attitude and has become a fantastic role model for anyone dealing with Gender Dysphoria.
“Odin has worked hard to get the most out of his time on HITZ, and has really built up his confidence as a result, as well as investing his time in a brilliant community garden project,” Wayne said.
“Carter demonstrated a tremendous passion for HITZ, and used this to great effect as a regular spokesperson for the programme. His story is a prime example of how confidence can open up new and often unexpected doors.
“Jake has clearly made huge strides since joining the HITZ programme, and we were really impressed with the way he’s become a natural and confident leader of others on the programme.”
This year’s glittering HITZ Awards will take place at the BT Centre on Tuesday 21 November where participants, mentors and rugby stars past and present will gather to celebrate the programme’s achievements. Follow all the action at @HITZRugby