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Oliver nominated for HITZ Champion award

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Teenager Oliver Veasey of the Leicester Tigers HITZ programme has been shortlisted for the HITZ Champion award.

Supported by Comic Relief, the HITZ Champion award recognises a HITZ participant or member of the community who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help someone on the programme to overcome personal barriers.
Veasey struggled during school but has thrived since joining the programme in September 2013. He formed a strong friendship with one HITZ participant who was particularly disengaged, using his humour and mentoring skills to help this student achieve all of his qualifications and a job with main club sponsor Caterpillar.
While on the course, he 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.

Veasey has been nominated alongside Josh Hardy of Sale Sharks programme and Dan Hart for the Worcester Warriors programme.

The award-winning HITZ programme, delivered nationally by Premiership Rugby, aims to give hope and direction to young people by tackling the greatest challenges facing young people today – unemployment, crime and disillusionment.
As a national HITZ partner, Comic Relief are supporting the HITZ Champion award at a ceremony on December 3, and their sports partnerships manager Sam Shave admits it was a tough task to arrive at the shortlisted.
"We've been involved with HITZ for a number of years now and continue to support it because we're really impressed with how the programme has developed,” says Shave.
"Clearly all of these young people are extremely deserving of this award and we've had to try to pick out the best of the best.
"They've done fantastic work and achieved amazing things so there was no easy way to choose but the three we have got have proved to us that they have gone above and beyond the call of duty.”
Oliver joins Ryan Cummings and Tom Rowthorne on the Tigers HITZ programme in being shortlisted for an award.
Ryan is shortlisted for the Community Impact Award, which is designed to recognise a HITZ young person who has contributed to the improvement of a community or club, through volunteering and service. The award looks at the impact of the young person's volunteering in the community, and also the impact of the volunteering on the HITZ participant themselves.
A keen sportsman, Cummings 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. Cummings, 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.
Rowthorne, meanwhile, found 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.
The 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.
The HITZ Awards will take place on December 3.