Young stars and role models from across the country are set to have their achievements recognised at this week’s HITZ Awards 2021.

HITZ is Premiership Rugby’s flagship education and employability programme, working with over 2,000 14-to-23-year-olds across England every year with the support of the CVC Foundation and Wooden Spoon, and delivered with official education partner SCL Education Group. The programme is delivered nationally by Premiership Rugby clubs.

The programme uses rugby’s core values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship, to support young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) back into education, training, apprenticeships and/or employment.

The annual HITZ awards, taking place on Wednesday at The Twickenham Stoop, recognise and reward the outstanding progress and work by those on the programme with 12 inspirational people shortlisted across four awards.

Academic Achievement Award

The Academic Achievement Award, supported by SCL Education Group, recognises academic progress which young people have made since joining the programme.

Megan Baron of Bath Rugby, Cai O’Shaughnessy of Exeter Chiefs and Leah Cromwell of Gloucester Rugby were shortlisted for the award, which shines a light on a group of young people who were previously disenfranchised from or disillusioned with education but have turned their lives around.

Read more about the nominees here

Physical Activity Award

Three of the most inspirational young people from across the country’s HITZ programme have been nominated for the Physical Activity Award at this year’s HITZ Awards.

Dawda Darboe of Bristol Bears, Lion McDonald of Gloucester Rugby and Jack Gollop of Exeter Chiefs were selected in what was once again a very competitive field – Read more about the nominees here

Young Achiever Award

The HITZ Young Achiever Award recognises and rewards a young person who, by overcoming a range of challenges, has worked hard to progress on their journey back to education, training or employment.

The nominees shortlist was whittled down to three by the judges, with Bears’ Charlie Hartley, Chiefs’ Callum Pope and Falcons’ Michael Pentland making the final cut – Read more about the nominees here

HITZ Champion Award

The HITZ Champion Award is one of four awards celebrated annually and recognises special individuals who go above and beyond the call of duty to support HITZ participants.

Graham Binns of Bath Rugby, Robin Powell of Bristol Bears and Jack Fleckney of Northampton Saints have all been nominated for the award, supported by CVC Foundation – Read more about the nominees here

HITZ is Premiership Rugby’s flagship employability and education programme, supporting young people to make positive changes in their life.

Working with more than 2,000 14-23 year-olds across England every year, the programme uses rugby’s core values to develop the personal, life and employability skills of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET).

Supported by the CVC Foundation and Wooden Spoon, and delivered with official education partner SCL Education Group, HITZ is delivered nationally by Premiership Rugby’s 13 shareholder clubs and has supported nearly 20,000 young people since it started in 2008.