Three inspiring youngsters from Wasps will have their commitment and hard work celebrated after being nominated for prizes at this year’s HITZ Awards.
HITZ is Premiership Rugby’s award-winning education and employability programme, which works with over 2,000 disadvantaged 14-19 year-olds across England every year.
And to celebrate the hard work put in by countless individuals up and down the country, the 2017 HITZ Awards will take place on November 21 at the BT Centre in a glittering London ceremony.
There are five gongs on offer during the evening, with members of the HITZ programme at Wasps nominated in three categories.
Carter Moran is up for the HITZ Young Ambassador award, which recognises an individual who has done the most to represent the HITZ programme to their peers and in their communities, identifying someone who has grown and changed for the better, and whose positive attitude has made an impact on those involved in and the programme.
Stanna Shaylor is one of three finalists for the HITZ Community Impact award, recognising an individual’s contribution through volunteering and service, looking at their impact in the community and on themselves.
And completing the trio is Jason Kitchin who could walk away with the HITZ Young Achiever award, recognising and rewarding a young person who, by overcoming a range of challenges, has worked the hardest to progress on their journey back to education, training and employment.
Wayne Morris, Premiership Rugby Community and CSR Director, said: “The judges and I were mightily impressed by each of the nominees – reading them really did bring home the power of the programme to change lives, and also highlights the dedication and commitment of our HITZ teams in supporting these young people to achieve such fantastic things.
“It was very tough afternoon’s judging! In some ways it’s a good problem to have, but it does make the shortlisting process very challenging.
“However, each of our expert judges rose to the occasion, carefully considering each application and challenging each other to do a great job!
“Their commitment really reflects the invaluable input of our partners into HITZ, without whom the programme wouldn’t be possible.”
Carter missed out on the majority of his secondary school life after being bullied by his peers due to the condition Gender Dysphoria, where a person experiences discomfort or distress due to a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity.
However, since joining the HITZ programme in February 2016, Carter has a new-found confidence and can-do attitude and has become a fantastic role model for anyone dealing with Gender Dysphoria.
Stanna suffered from mood swings and a lack of motivation that saw her leave second school with no qualifications above a grade D, as well as an altercation resulting in a criminal conviction.
But the HITZ programme provided her with stability and her attitude and persona has changed dramatically, becoming an ambassador for the programme whilst also delivering Coventry Sports Foundation’s summer holiday camps.
And the final Wasps nominee is Jason, who was expelled from school due to his ASD and ADHD, and soon became depressed after his mother was diagnosed with cancer.
But thanks to the HITZ programme at Wasps Jason has been accepted on to the Prince’s Trust programme and is looking to get back into education in order to achieve his dream of becoming a youth worker.
“The HITZ programme has really gone from strength-to-strength, which is very obvious in the quality of these nominations alone,” Wayne added.
“What struck me the most is the breadth of backgrounds and experiences of the young people on the programme, as well as the barriers they’ve overcome to participate.
“We are delighted that HITZ is having such an impact on the lives of young people right across the country.”
This year’s glittering HITZ Awards will take place at the BT Centre on Tuesday 21 November where participants, mentors and rugby stars past and present will gather to celebrate the programme’s achievements. Follow all the action at @HITZRugby