Premiership Rugby’s award-winning education and employability programme.


Region Nationally delivered by 13 Premiership Rugby member clubs
Scale 350-400 per year
Funding Structure Land Rover, Comic Relief, Wooden Spoon
Education providers drawing down money from ESFA
2018/2019 Employer Partners Land Rover, Barclays, Kew Green Hotels, The Navy, Greggs, The Ricoh Arena, Holiday Inn


Focus is on personal and social development of the young people – supporting with communication, teamwork, confidence, self-esteem.

Daily mentoring and support with mental health.

Support with additional requirements like homelessness, social care, and education support.

Deliver English and Maths support.

Additional accredited qualifications include BTEC Level 1 Sport and Active Leisure, Employability Level 1 and 2, Active IQ in Fitness Instructing, Multi-skills, Coaching, First Aid.

Daily physical training which improves the overall physical and mental wellbeing.

Trips to different work places and college fairs to showcase opportunities available to the young people.

Away days and residential trips to help young people to overcome barriers and try new things.

Case Studies

Jade Whale

Bath Rugby

Jade joined HITZ in September 2017, and although she had a sporting background, had never played rugby before. Having not enjoyed school she had low self-confidence, a challenging attitude to learning and would often walk out of class. Throughout her time on HITZ Jade became more involved in rugby by volunteering with the Bath Rugby Foundation, where she often volunteered at the Foundation’s Project Rugby sessions. From this she went on to volunteer at mixed ability training sessions with the Walcott Warriors team facilitating the first female mixed ability fixture.

Initially, Jade was shy, lacking confidence and she would often get frustrated if things didn’t go her own way, struggling with situations she was uncomfortable with. Through her time volunteering and playing rugby with Walcott Warriors her whole attitude and mind-set in her approach to different scenarios has completely changed and now she is a lot more confident and asks for help if she doesn’t understand.

Through the sessions at Walcott Warriors Jade met a few players from Bath Rugby Ladies, who invited her to training and she has since been to every training session and is now signed up to play for them. Jade has also progressed into full-time employment with the Bath Rugby stadium team, working as a match day and stadium logistics assistant.


James Marshall

Gloucester Rugby

James had quite a sheltered home life due to his learning difficulties and joined HITZ as he was out of education and unable to find a job. He had a previous job as a cleaner but couldn’t communicate easily with his co-workers, so struggled. He had a very quick temper when he was out of his comfort zone or was in a situation that he didn’t understand. James loved rugby but did not have the confidence or the knowledge to know where to begin with regards to playing. His learning difficulty made communication very difficult and this was another barrier to participation.

HITZ helped James to understand that he had the capability to play rugby, therefore through the programme he has become part of Gloucester Griffins. James has gone from being unable to communicate with others to being awarded the ‘most improved player of the year’. He has also managed to secure a job within Gloucester Rugby onsite maintenance team, something which he could only previously dream of. James continues to play rugby with the mixed ability team and is helping the team grow in terms of both numbers and performance. He loves the sport, the enjoyment and social side to the team and it continues to build his confidence on and off the field.


George Herbert

London Irish

George left school and joined the Army which was something he had always wanted to do. However, he quickly realised that it wasn’t for him and left his training. After being expelled from college George found himself hanging out with the wrong crowd and getting into trouble with the police.

Before joining HITZ, George’s level of rugby was basic and he only played it at school, however his attitude towards rugby has improved substantially. He is now playing in the 1st XV for Reading Rugby Colts as well as helping set up, captain and coach the London Irish inclusions team. Even when he was injured George would go down and either help coach or support the team.

George’s passion doesn’t stop there, however, as he also volunteers his time to support coaching on the London Irish Project Rugby programme, coaches their MENCAP sessions and has set up his own pitch up and play sessions with some of the other pupils. George’s involvement in rugby has given him a new sense of confidence and wellbeing where he is now willing to try new things and help other people try them as well. He has become a leader and key figure within the classroom, rather than the shy quiet person which he was at the start. George is continuing to play with the Reading Rugby Colts team and is looking to complete his Level 2 rugby coaching qualification.

Click here to visit HITZ’s website.