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Wasps youngster delighted to pick up HITZ award

Wasps youngster delighted to pick up HITZ award

As Wasps do their utmost to accomplish their goals on the rugby pitch, one of the club’s youngsters had his achievements off it celebrated at the 2017 HITZ Awards.

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 on 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.

There were five winners on the night with Jason Kitchin of the Wasps HITZ programme going home with the HITZ Young Achiever award, supported by BT, as well as a brand new watch from Premiership Rugby partner Citizen.

Jason collected his prize from Wasps lock Kearnan Myall and admitted the evening would live long in his memory.

“I was nervous at first but then it hit me I was chosen as the winner – it’s incredible,” said Jason, who beat Gloucester Rugby’s Tom Phillips and Charlie Hobbs of Harlequins to the gong.

“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.

“The HITZ programme has been great for me because it’s boosted my spirits up 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 Anthony came and gave me a lift into the session. They really go the extra mile.”

The HITZ Young Achiever award, supported by BT, recognises and rewards a young person who, by overcoming a range of challenges, has worked the hardest to progress on their journey back to education, training and employment.

And Jason certainly epitomises this, having been expelled from school due to his ASD and ADHD, and 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 arrived at the Wasps HITZ programme with no qualifications but has 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, making him a worthy winner.

Wayne Morris, Premiership Rugby Community and CSR Director, added: “Jason really stood out to the judges, even in a very competitive category, with his extraordinary commitment and dedication to the programme.

“Reading about his achievements on the HITZ programme, and the lengths he sometimes had to go to just to attend, it’s clear he embodies the very best of the programme and is a worthy winner.

“The judges particularly felt that Jason’s achievements were evident in the quote from his mum, as well as his motivation to achieve his goal of becoming a youth worker.”

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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