Numbers of participants have more than doubled from last season to this, hoping to follow in the footsteps of the 95 percent of last year’s students who progressed into full-time education, full-time work or apprenticeships after completing the programme.
This year’s programme was recently launched at Franklin’s Gardens, with the 45 new students being joined by senior personnel from HITZ sponsor Barclays, including Catherine French (chief of staff and corporate affairs director), Paulette Cohen (vice president, head of global programmes, global community investment), Victoria Lowe (project manager, Barclays Spaces for Sports), and John Corbett (head of corporate banking in Northampton).
The launch was also visited by Pat Brennan-Barrett (principal, Northampton College) and Clair McNab from Trilogy Gyms, who will be providing work placement experience to students throughout the year.
HITZ project officer Matt Goode was understandably delighted to have this support from sponsors and partners.
“Last year was a big 12 months for the HITZ programme here in Northampton, and I am delighted with how it went for us,” he said. “Central to this has been the positive influence that Northampton College has had on the students and the project as a whole, and the staff have worked very hard.
“So I’m delighted that the College is still involved with HITZ and am looking forward to growing the programme with them, and working with HITZ’s sponsors to change the lives of young people for the better.
“The launch day was a big success and it was tremendous to have so many senior people from Barclays attending to meet the students and get an insight into what we do here at Franklin’s Gardens.
“It’s going to be an exciting year for us!”
Ms Brennan-Barrett commented that being a part of the HITZ programme was an honour for Northampton College.
“We are delighted to continue working with the Saints and other sponsors to deliver this exciting programme as helping those who are disengaged with education for whatever reason is one of our main aims as a college,” she said. “This partnership has enabled us to join forces with influential local employers and engage young people through sport and rugby, as well as teaching them valuable maths, English and employability skills.
“The HITZ success has been proven with a large proportion of the students who went through the programme last year progressing on to full-time learning or employment. We are looking forward to another year of success.”
“We have continued to work with Premiership Rugby and Northampton Saints to develop the HITZ programme since we first began the partnership last year and we are very excited about the 14-15 learning experience,” added Chris Dawson, curriculum manager of Foundation Studies, Northampton College.
“The sport and rugby elements of the programme definitely capture the interest of the young people but we have lots more planned this year with involvement from sponsors such as Northants Leisure Trust, Northants Police, the Army and local schools. It will be inspiring to see many more successes as young people on the programme are given even more opportunity to reach their potential accessing education in an innovative way.”
HITZ Northampton is a progressive, high profile programme delivered by Aviva Premiership Rugby club Northampton Saints, Barclays, Land Rover, Comic Relief and the Wooden Spoon Children's Charity.
The HITZ programme targets young people at risk of exclusion and anti-social behaviour, introducing them - often for the first time - to touch and contact rugby. HITZ Northampton provides participants with the opportunity to access personal and social development programmes, educational support, vocational training programmes and workforce development Apprenticeships and volunteering opportunities
For more information about HITZ – whether as a student or business looking to support one of the country’s most innovative programmes – email [email protected]