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Clubs support Sport Relief

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The Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs are raising money for Sport Relief this month and celebrating the difference that Premiership Rugby's BreakThru programmes have been making throughout the country.

Leicester Tigers are among the Aviva Premiership teams warming up in Sport Relief socks and T-shirts this weekend.

Over the past 18 months, Premiership Rugby clubs have been using money raised through Sport Relief to help run the award-winning HITZ programme.

HITZ, one of the BreakThru programmes, tackles some of the greatest challenges facing young people today – unemployment, crime and disillusionment. Delivered 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.

For 17-year old Relon, HITZ is a healthy outlet for his frustrations through wheelchair rugby and basketball as well as helping to further his education after leaving school with few qualifications.

"I love everything about HITZ, since I started going every day just seems much better," he said.

"I was a bad boy, I was on the streets and I was doing some bad things but then I came to HITZ. I thought to myself, 'what's the point?' you won't get anywhere by doing bad things so I joined HITZ.

"I am a better person now, I am starting to get my grades and then I can start getting in the big leagues. It's not just about rugby it is about achieving goals – it's about brainpower and knowledge. I'd be in the gutter without HITZ."

Wayne Morris, Premiership Rugby's CSR and community director, said: "Our BreakThru programmes use the power of rugby union to promote education and training, inclusion and healthy lifestyles in the most deprived communities. Programmes like HITZ and our healthy eating programme, Something to Chew On, are delivered nationally alongside club-specific programmes.

"All of the programmes are supported by Premiership Rugby's players, coaches and public, private and third sector partners.”

Sport Relief weekend runs from Friday, March 21 to Sunday, March 23, and with Comic Relief as an official partner, the clubs will be supporting the cause in a number of ways.