Throughout the summer, we’re looking at the great work carried out by Leicester Tigers community team and the Leicester Tigers Foundation with our #TigersFamily Matters feature.
So far, we’ve heard from the Clubs Community teams promoting Project Rugby and all about the Tigers Foundations work with special educational needs and their disability sport programmes.
This week, we catch up with Tigers health and inclusion manager, Sam Swift, who oversees the Foundations work delivering support to youngsters out of education.
What specific programmes do you look after?
“Predominantly, we run a programme called Hitz which provides opportunities for 16-24 year old's not in education, employment or training.
Rugby is a great platform to tackle things like unemployment and social issues and allows youngsters to help build vocational skills.
“Last year, we welcomed 20 newcomers to the programme who took part in classroom sessions here at Welford Road as well as practical and work experience opportunities.”
What can youngsters take away from programmes like Hitz?
“As well as qualifications that can help them to find a career, Hitz also looks to reward and inspire young people to succeed.
“This year for example, our Hitz officer Charlie Hurley took three of our group who had completed the Land Rover Employability sessions to a Land Rover experience day. Here, they took part in team building exercises, went off-roading and had an enjoyable day out.
“Another of our youngsters also managed to secure a job here at Welford Road in the club shop after working as a programme seller on matchdays. So it really can open up opportunities for people from all backgrounds and interests.”
What can youngsters expect next year?
“Next year, we’re looking to build the programme even further offering more opportunities through sport and at Welford Road.
“We’re continuing our Dynamite programme for 14-16 year old students who are in education, to help them gain qualifications specific to sport. Schools can simply get in touch to refer pupils for consideration.
“We hope to run two groups of cohorts across 2018/19 to allow us to reach even more vulnerable or disengaged young people.”