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Foundation stars shortlisted for Premiership Rugby HITZ awards

Two incredible individuals from Northampton Saints Foundation are to have their achievements recognised at the Premiership Rugby HITZ Awards 2022 on 22 November at Twickenham Stadium. 

HITZ is Premiership Rugby’s flagship education and employability programme, supporting young people to make positive changes in their lives. Working with more than 2,000 16–19-year-olds across England every year, the programme is supported by CVC, Wooden Spoon and East Head Impact, with Central YMCA as the programme’s official education provider. 

Participants on the programme learn in an environment different to mainstream education where rugby’s core values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline, and sportsmanship are at the heart of the delivery. The result is life changing. 

Shortlisted from Northampton Saints Foundation are two individuals with stories of self-discipline, commitment and courage beyond measure. They have worked against all odds to improve their own lives or the lives of others within an inclusive environment of the HITZ family.

Craig Phillips, Employability Lead from Northampton Saints Foundation commented; “We know how tough the competition is in these awards as there are so many compelling stories of success across all the clubs. For Mia and Marcel to be shortlisted is a huge achievement and we are incredibly proud of them. We continue to see a determination and desire like never before from our young people like Mia to improve their lives, and we couldn’t help them progress positively without the unwavering support of people like Marcel. No matter what happens on the night, they are already our winners!”


Mia Keogh has been shortlisted for the Academic Achiever Award. This is the journey a young person on HITZ has taken in their academic development. It recognises the pathway a learner has taken since joining the programme and how far they have travelled.

Mia arrived at the Foundation emotionally and educationally lost but she remained motivated and eager to achieve her academic qualifications after a prolonged period out of school. She moved to the HITZ programme, following the completion of another Foundation programme, where with support she thrived socially and studied to become the most successful participant academically that the Foundation has ever seen.

Marcel Binley is nominated for the Champion Award. This recognises an individual who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to support HITZ participants to overcome difficult personal barriers to success. They may be a member of the HITZ team or the local community. 

Marcel has shared his knowledge, learnings and resources as a business owner of The Roastery creating a nationally accredited qualification for young people at HITZ. He commits his time, funding and his team to the course to provide opportunities for lifelong qualifications that lead to employment and financial independence.

The whole Foundation team wish Mia and Marcel the best of luck when the awards take place on Tuesday 22 November 2022.