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Awards night to remember for Tigers HITZ

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The Leicester Tigers Hitz programme is celebrating after three of its inspirational teenagers were recognised at the inaugural HITZ Awards.

Ryan Cummings, 19, of Braunstone, won the Community Impact Award, supported by Wooden Spoon, which recognises a HITZ young peson’s contribution to the improvement of a club or community.
A keen sportsman, Ryan used his level one coaching qualifications and boundless enthusiasm to run HITZ outreach sessions at local colleges, despite often having to travel a long distance.
Ryan, who is now enrolled on Brooksby Melton College's Level 3 BTEC course run alongside Leicester Tigers' Academy of Sports course, also took a lead role in planning a national HITZ Rugby tournament before the London Double Header at the start of the season.
Tom Rowthorn and Oliver Veasey, fellow members of the Tigers HITZ programme, were highly commended in their award categories at the gala evening held at the Barclays HQ in the City of London.
Tom was highly commended in the Best Rugby Performer award, supported by Premiership Rugby, which rewards an individual who has progressed and developed in their rugby performance, physical activity levels and capabilities through HITZ.
He had himself in a rut physically and academically before joining the programme but the routine of the HITZ sessions led to his performances both on the field and in the classroom improving rapidly.

Tom achieved three sporting qualifications by the end of the course, securing a full-time apprenticeship and was also selected as captain of Leicester Forest East colts.
Oliver, meanwhile, was highly commended in the HITZ Champions category, supported by Comic Relief, which recognises those who have gone who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help someone on the programme overcome personal barriers.

Oliver struggled during school but thrived after joining HITZ in September 2013. He formed a strong friendship with one disengaged participant, using his humour and mentoring skills to help the student achieve all of his qualifications and a job with Tigers main club sponsor Caterpillar.

While on the course, Oliver also volunteered on the Tigers National Citizen Service (NCS) going the extra mile and offering his guidance to others in need. He was such a good volunteer that he has now become a paid Leicester Tigers NCS mentor.
Sam Swift, Tigers HITZ manager, said: “It is great for them to be recognised and rewarded for their efforts. They have put in a lot of time and effort and have all given back to the project.”

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 or click here for more information on the Tigers HITZ programme.