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Premiership Rugby’s HITZ programme praised by Minister for Sport

Premiership Rugby’s HITZ programme praised by Minister for Sport

Minister for Sport Tracey Crouch applauded Premiership Rugby’s HITZ programme as five of its stars collected a top prize at a star-studded Awards ceremony in London.

HITZ is Premiership Rugby’s award-winning education and employability programme, which works with more than 2,000 disadvantaged 14-19 year-olds across England every year.

And on tonight (Tuesday evening) the hard work put in by countless individuals up and down the country was celebrated at the 2017 HITZ Awards, a glittering London ceremony at the BT Centre that saw the likes of World Cup winners Jason Robinson and Phil Vickery in attendance.

This was the fourth HITZ Awards and Crouch, MP for Chatham and Aylesford, believes the award-winning Premiership Rugby programme will continue to go from strength-to-strength.

She said: “Sport can help change the lives of young people for the better and HITZ does exactly that, making a positive impact in many communities across the country.

“I congratulate all the winners at this year’s HITZ Awards and the Premiership Rugby clubs, coaches, players and sponsors for their continued commitment to this excellent programme.”

This year’s HITZ Awards saw 15 individuals from Premiership Rugby clubs across England honoured, with five emerging as overall winners in their particular categories.

All five winners also took home a brand new watch thanks to Premiership Rugby partner Citizen, with Maddi Eager of Gloucester Rugby first on stage as she won the Community Impact Award, supported by Wooden Spoon, following her volunteering work in the local community.

Jake Britton of Bath Rugby walked away with the Young Ambassador of the Year Award, while Northampton Saints’ Milton Kachecha won the Best Rugby Performer Award, supported by Land Rover.

The Champion Award went to Sale Sharks’ Aaron Phelps-Naqi, while the final category saw Jason Kitchin take home the Young Achiever of the Year Award, supported by BT.

To find out more about this year’s worthy winners and nominees, please click one of the below:

Land Rover ambassador Robinson, who won the 2003 World Cup and earned 51 caps for England, presented the Best Rugby Performer Award to Milton, but insisted that every winner on the night was fully deserving, as were all the nominees.

“When you look at what the HITZ programme is doing and when you look at the young people HITZ is dealing with who have come from challenging background, I relate it to my own upbringing and the challenges I had,” Robinson said. “It’s a programme that is close to my heart.

“It’s great for me that this is not just a normal rugby programme. You’re not just going in there to teach young people about playing rugby, it’s also looking to educate them, get them into apprenticeships and jobs, support them and have a more positive outlook on life.

“I love the HITZ programme, I’ve been involved for quite a few years and I look forward to the awards night because it recognises the achievements of the young people on the programme.”

The HITZ programme, delivered nationally by Premiership Rugby and funded by national partners Comic Relief, Land Rover and Wooden Spoon, uses rugby’s strong core values to improve life and employability skills for disadvantaged young people, underpinning success in education, life and work. See @HITZrugby for more information.

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