The announcement comes hot on the heels of the expansion of Premiership Rugby’s award-winning programme thanks to four national funders – Barclays, Land Rover, Comic Relief and Wooden Spoon – who will help the 12 Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs in making a positive impact on the lives of 11-to-19-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training.
HITZ Northampton is now in its second year, with the Saints having been chosen as one of the initial few clubs to roll out the programme outside London.
Northampton College will provide the specialist education expertise that will give the HITZ participants the building blocks they will need to empower them to make more informed life choices and gain further training and employment opportunities.
The HITZ programme includes a study programme, issues-based sessions, positive progression and rugby sessions designed to use the core ethos of the sport to support the work done in the classroom – respect, discipline, control of aggression and team work.
While the education specialists will come from Northampton College, the non-rugby sessions will be based at Franklin’s Gardens, and College principal Pat Brennan-Barratt says that she is excited by HITZ’s potential to change lives.
“We are delighted to be working with the Saints to deliver this exciting programme as helping young people who are disengaged with education for whatever reason is one of our main aims as a college,” she said. “This partnership provides a unique opportunity to join forces with an influential local employer to engage young people through sport and rugby.
“As maths, English and employability skills make up a large part of this project, those on the programme will have more opportunity to progress on to full-time learning or employment.”
HITZ project officer Matt Goode says that the partnership with Northampton College will help expand the programme within the town.
“The first year was a learning process for all of us, and with the help of Northampton College we believe that we can take HITZ to a new level,” he commented. “The College’s staff has a massive amount of expertise, and they are committed to helping us give opportunities to youngsters who are in danger of social exclusion or anti-social behaviour.
“We’re already working well together to come up with ideas to grow HITZ Northampton, and I’m looking forward to seeing the programme go from strength to strength in the future.”
For more information about HITZ Northampton CLICK HERE
For more information about Northampton College CLICK HERE