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Saints HITZ youngsters up for national award

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

The Young Achiever Award recognises a young person who has overcome barriers to achieve personal success and who has attained the greatest positive progression in their personal journey returning to education, training and employment.

The multi award-winning HITZ programme uses rugby to increase young people's resilience, self-reliance and confidence and gives them the skills to get back into education, apprenticeships and employment.

As a national HITZ partner, Barclays is supporting the Young Achiever award.

"At Barclays we're aiming to change 5 Million Young Futures by giving the next generation the skills they need to succeed. The HITZ programme is an integral part of this commitment. We're delighted to recognise the achievements of the young people involved around the UK – their stories are truly remarkable,” says Paulette Cohen, Head of Global Programmes, Barclays.

HITZ Awards - Young Achiever shortlist

Inaam Mohammed, Sale Sharks
- Emanuel Opoku, Harlequins
- Aaron Stanley, Worcester Warriors
- Relon Thompson, Northampton Saints

Relon had to come to terms with the fact that he would probably not be able to walk again after being shot in the back in early 2013 after becoming involved in gang culture. Through HITZ and a strong positive attitude he has achieved qualifications in maths and English.

All of the candidates shortlisted also act as fantastic role models for other HITZ participants in their area, who see their success and are motivated to set similar targets of their own.

Another HITZ Northampton member, Ryan Hancock, has been nominated for the Best Rugby Performer award.

Ryan struggled both with his own and his family's health problems but saw his fitness and confidence rise as he went through the programme. On completing his time with HITZ, Ryan secured a full-time job and is now playing senior rugby as a prop at Northampton Casuals where he is expected to break into the first team soon.

HITZ Awards - Best Rugby Performer Nominees

- Ryan Hancock, Northampton Saints

- Tom Rowthorne, Leicester Tigers

- Jason Suttle, Bath Rugby

The award winning HITZ programme tackles some of the greatest challenges facing young people today – unemployment, crime and disillusionment.  Delivered nationally by Premiership Rugby and funded by national partners Barclays, Comic Relief, Land Rover and Wooden Spoon, HITZ uses rugby to increase young people's resilience, self-reliance and confidence.  It gives them the skills to get back into education, vocational training, apprenticeships and employment. Please visit hitzrugby.com to find out more.

The HITZ Awards will take place on Wednesday, December 3rd.

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