On Thursday last week the SALE Sharks enjoyed the opportunity to inspire the next generation, as they entertained the young people from HITZ Sale Sharks at Salford City Stadium.
Sharks trio Tom Brady, Tony Buckley and Mark Jennings joined the Sale community team to engage with the 11 to 19 year-olds from challenging backgrounds, who all joined the HITZ programme.
Councillors from the region also attended the event, in which the young people gave a presentation, before taking part in team-building exercises and a raffle.
The club's community manager, Jonny Acheson showed the community the power of HITZ and the results of combining rugby with social inclusion.
"HITZ really makes a big difference in people's lives," he said. "The key thing is getting them to engage in society. They can then go on to do things that they probably never even dreamt of through the HITZ programme.
"Rugby gives young people the opportunity to use physical aggression in a positive manner - they think this is the greatest thing.
"We use the rugby to engage them and raise their confidence and then you can start to talk to them about education and other issues."
Premiership Rugby's flagship and award-winning social-inclusion programme HITZ is delivered by Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs, with learning provision provided by YMCA training for the Sale Sharks project 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.
Jay Jefferson, location manager at Manchester's YMCA training centre, believes combining the programme with sport is essential for keeping the youngsters excited and entertained.
"HITZ has made a big difference, not just to the young people, but to the centre as a whole," she said.
"Integration through sport is one of the best ways to get the young people involved. It gets young people engaged because that is what they want to do.
"They have worked really hard and we have got some young people who you never believed would talk in front of a camera to do brilliantly. It is really, really good what they are doing.
"It is a different shaped ball here in Manchester - it's a football - so they have had a challenge on their hands, but it has been great and it has really upped our numbers."