The London Irish HITZ participants will be volunteering at the Reading Vitality Half Marathon this Sunday, 19 March. They will be on hand at the Madejski Stadium to help runners once they have crossed the finish line.

HITZ Officer Ainsley Campbell said: "I am proud of all of the HITZ participants who are giving up their weekend and waking up early to help out at the Vitality Half Marathon.

"I would personally like to thank Laura Burke and the rest of the Sweatshop team for giving them the opportunity to help out at a mass event."

It's a busy weekend for London Irish's HITZ participants because they will also be volunteering at the annual St Patricks Party this Saturday when London Irish take on Cornish Pirates (kick off 2pm).

"This is a great opportunity for the HITZ participants to help out and give something back to their local community" Campbell added.

"It also gives them the chance to use the main skills which are embedded within the course, such as: resilience, self-reliance and confidence, as well as communication and teamwork."

The activity this weekend will be part of the work experience part of the HITZ programme.

The HITZ programme is delivered nationally by Premiership Rugby and funded by partners such as Land Rover, Comic Relief, Creative Sport and Leisure, and Wooden Spoon. HITZ uses rugby to increase young people's resilience, self-reliance and confidence.

The education project, based at New Directions, Reading, provides opportunities for 16-19 year olds NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) young people to gain the skills to get back into education, vocational training, apprenticeships and employment.

The programme is a mix of exciting sporting activities such as rugby, tennis, karate, Pilates and gym sessions alongside a structured educational programme. It also includes experiential visits to the London Irish training ground, army bases and ski domes.

In addition, the programme offers young people the chance to study for a BTEC Level 1 in Sport and Active Leisure and also to work on their functional skills up to level 2. This is a three day a week programme which is personally tailored towards the learners needs by Creative Sport and Leisure.

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