The award winning HITZ programme delivered by Aviva Premiership Rugby Clubs and funded by national partners Comic Relief and Wooden Spoon. The programme works to initiate behaviour change and foster confidence in disenfranchised young people aged 11 to 19 from challenging backgrounds; encouraging them to remain in or re-enter education, undertake apprenticeships or vocational training and enter paid employment.
· Support and educate disadvantaged and disillusioned young people into further opportunities in mainstream education and training, whilst realising their own personal outcome (employment, independent living, volunteering, continued rugby participation)
· Encourage participants into regular sporting participation to receive the associated health and wellbeing benefits
· Increase participation in rugby
· Encourage good relations between people regardless of their backgrounds
· Reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, encourage good relations between people regardless of their background
HITZ offers 11-19 year olds the chance to take part in positive activity. The ethos of rugby union is used as the core values of the sport supporting many of the objectives that the partners have when working with groups of people who are identified as being 'hard to reach'. These values may be summarised as respect for others, discipline, friendship and teamwork. Rugby also fosters good relations between people, regardless of their backgrounds, and addresses the negative stereotypes that some of these young people may have to face.
Many of the issues in our delivery areas are due to lack of expectation and opportunity. HITZ is run on the estates and local parks. Due to the long term nature of the project the HITZ officers become part of that community, this builds trust with the young people making it easier to direct them towards positive activities. HITZ aims to create a behaviour and attitude change in young people and works towards them staying in school, accessing volunteering, training and apprenticeship opportunities and accessing the local rugby clubs.
The HITZ Project Officer Tom Leader is managed by Sale Sharks and is based within the YMCA Training Centre which is located in the heart of Piccadilly in Manchester. This offers the young people a mentor that can facilitate continued support to and when they progress onto a programme offered by YMCA Training.
The programme targets 16 - 18 year old NEET young people both male and female and uses rugby/sport as a tool to engage with the young people and get them back into education, training or employment through foundation learning and apprenticeships which is where the YMCA come in as the young people would come here to do their learning part of the programme.
When on the programme a young person would do their learning in the morning which can consist of doing English, Maths, ICT and employability skills and get these qualifications up to the correct standard to be able to get on to an apprenticeship or in to a job. Then in the afternoons would part take in the sporting activity doing rugby session at local parks or rugby clubs, gym sessions at the Y Club Gym, fitness sessions at local parks or rugby clubs, other sports i.e. football, boxing, basketball and badminton, video analysis sessions of the Sale Sharks games, commentary of Sale Sharks games, session/weekly training plans, trips out to Sale Sharks stadium and Carrington training ground, local and national agencies coming in for talks and many other things. As part of the programme there are many incentives including having a bursary while on the programme which includes help with travel, free kit and access the Sale Sharks games.
Currently the HITZ programme is running HITZ evening session at four different venues around Manchester for 11 to 19 year olds girls and boys to come along at take part in fun, enjoyable rugby sessions.
Monday: Powerhouse 7.00 pm to 8.00 pm
Tuesday: Wonderland Park, Ardwick 4.30 pm to 5.30 pm
Wednesday: Our Lady's High School 3.15 pm to 4.30 pm
Thursday: Ten Acres Leisure Centre 4.00 pm to 5.30 pm
Add 'Tom Hitz Leader' on facebook for latest information about the HITZ programme and HITZ evening sessions.
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