A group of teenagers from a ground-breaking education and employment programme were left inspired after they were visited by Rugby World Cup winner and former Sale Sharks star Jason Robinson.
Jason, who was part of England’s 2003 RWC-winning side, met up with learners from the HITZ Salford programme, which is run by the award-winning Sale Sharks Community Trust in conjunction with Premiership Rugby.
The 16-18 year olds showed off their footballing skills in front of the man known as ‘Billy Whizz’ before retiring to the club house at Eccles Rugby Club to hear his story about growing up in Leeds.
Jason explained how he faced similar challenges to those encountered by the learners – and when the talk had finished he opened up the floor to questions.
Tom Leader Social Inclusion Manager at the Sale Sharks Community Trust, said: “We’re so grateful to Jason for taking the time to come and visit our programme and learners.
“He has encountered similar challenges in his life to the ones our learners have faced and are still to face and, as he said to the learners, he gets what we and they are trying to achieve.
“That’s fantastic for the learners because it helps them realise that they’re not the only ones facing challenges.”
“This is a fantastic programme which is close to my heart,” added Jason. “I have been through the challenges these young people face each day, and I know HITZ can help them to get the support they need, when they need it.”
— HITZ Salford (@HITZSalford) October 25, 2017
Delivered across Greater Manchester, by the Sale Sharks Community Trust, Premiership Rugby’s HITZ programme uses rugby to increase young peoples’ resilience, self-reliance, confidence and progress them in to a positive destination upon completing the course.
Using the sport’s core values of teamwork, discipline, respect and sportsmanship, HITZ gives young people the skills to get back into education, vocational training, apprenticeships and employment.
Delivered nationally by Premiership Rugby’s 12 professional clubs, and funded by Land Rover, Comic Relief and Wooden Spoon, HITZ works with over 2,000 young people aged between 14 and 18 every year.
For more information on the range of community programmes run by the Sale Sharks Community Trust, visit www.salesharks.com/community