HITZ graduation and Rugby+ futures event

Wednesday 19 July 2023 Written by: Adam

Last week Newcastle Rugby Foundation held an event to celebrate the achievements of their HITZ students and introduced their new Rugby+ Futures programme.

The HITZ programme is Newcastle Rugby Foundation’s employability and enrichment programme which looks to support young people in the region in getting employment ready. Newcastle Rugby Foundation works in partnership with Newcastle College who deliver formal qualifications while the Foundation delivers a suite of sessions aimed at getting the students work ready, including; Self Esteem, Money Management, Proper Social Media Use, Professional Relationships and more.

Many of the students we work with come from areas of socio-economic deprivation and have not had the greatest of times in school. The HITZ programme aims to change the students’ views of education and employment, dispelling some of the myths around work and raising their aspirations.

Local businesses joined the celebrations to see students receive their certificates from former Falcons player and British Lion Tony Underwood; with four receiving special recognition awards from their work during the programme.

Jan Farkas received the Outstanding Coach Award, Kasey Bradshaw earned Outstanding Bravery, Lauren McLean for Outstanding Support and Reece Wray for Outstanding Volunteer.

Speaking about one of the award winners, Kevin Esther, Level 2 programme lead at Newcastle College said: “I can really see how Jan’s confidence has developed through the HITZ programme and this is visible in his college life as well. He’s got the knowledge, skills and behaviours in place to be a great coach!”

After the awards ceremony, Newcastle Rugby Foundation Ambassador, Tony Underwood returned to stage to present the Rugby+ Futures programme. Developed by Underwood, Olympian Chris Cook, acclaimed coach Lysa Morrison and the Newcastle Rugby Foundation team, the innovative programme equips participants with essential personal characteristics the build relationships based on trust. The game-changing programme empowers individuals to reach their full potential and become the best version of themselves.

Following the presentations, businesses from across the region invited the HITZ graduates to ask questions about employment in a jobs fair style format. We would like to thank Greggs, Rise, George Smith, Nuffield Health, the British Army and Newcastle Rugby for their support with this.

A brilliant morning was had by all and we look forward to the Rugby+ Futures programme for what promises to be yet another brilliant project. For more information about Rugby+ Futures, please email **melanie.magee@newcastle-falcons.co.uk**