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From anxiety and agoraphobia to ambitions and an apprenticeship, how HITZ turned Logan's life around.

This weekend, Northampton Saints Foundation will be celebrating their fourth Foundation Day but it's not the only event they'll be celebrating. It's also Community Weekend, which shares how the rugby community is one big family – giving support, instilling confidence, improving mental wellbeing and providing a sense of belonging. 

Taking place on Round 14 of the Gallagher Premiership Rugby (29th – 31st March), the weekend will see all games dedicated to the award-winning community programmes, run by Premiership Rugby, in collaboration with its shareholder Clubs and Club Foundations.

It also celebrates the success of young people, such as Logan, who has turned his life around thanks to the Foundation's Premiership Rugby HITZ programme.

Struggling to stay in mainstream education, Logan felt uncomfortable, anxious, and battled with feeling like he didn’t fit in at school. This resulted in Logan lying about his attendance and eventually dropping out. Life looked pretty bleak for Logan until he joined the HITZ programme.

With the support from his mother, Logan began to turnaround his wellbeing. He immediately took to the quiet supportive learning environment, and was able to interact with tutors, attend lessons, and complete work effortlessly online and face to face leading to academic success.

With the challenges of the pandemic causing Logan to develop agoraphobic traits, HITZ with its gradual transition back into education, was able to support him through each stage. Interacting with his peers and independently getting the bus, helped instil a positive mindset, which helped Logan achieve his Maths and English qualifications.

As his new sense of self confidence and purpose continued, an empowered Logan vocalised his ambitions and a passion for culinary skills leading to a successful application for an apprenticeship at a local Gastro Pub.

Talking of his apprenticeship Logan says “I enjoy every day. There are days when I am on pot wash, but I am still happy, the kitchen is where I want to be. No matter how stressful the day, I am happy in that environment, and I feel mentally alive.”

About the HITZ programme

HITZ is the award-winning education and employability programme delivered through the network of Premiership Rugby Clubs and Club Foundations which for 15 years has supported young people to make positive changes in their lives. A specific focus on understanding young people and nurturing their goals, along with an environment very different to mainstream education, has resulted in many participants describing HITZ as a family. With positive role models dedicating time to these young people, treating them with respect and being there for them through tough times, HITZ students leave the programme better equipped to navigate their next steps in life and carve out a clear path for independence.

Since it started back in 2008, the HITZ programme has helped over 22,000 14–24-year-olds across England. The community programme supports young people not in education, employment or training using rugby’s core values to get participants back into education, training, apprenticeships and/or employment. Participants develop invaluable personal, life and employability skills so they can go forward in life.

Wayne Morris, Community & CSR Director, Premiership Rugby says, “Over the last 15 years the success rate of the HITZ programme speaks for itself, it has helped over 80% of the learners move on positively. The progression Logan has demonstrated, thanks to the support of Northampton Saints Foundation is to be commended. For someone to go from dropping out of school and not entertaining getting public transport to working in a fast-paced environment like a restaurant kitchen is incredible. It is stories like Logan’s that reaffirm why we are committed to future proofing programmes like HITZ. Not only does it benefit the participants, but it also provides businesses with apprentices who are motivated and committed to working hard for their brighter future.”

For more information on the HITZ programme, or to make a referral please get in touch.