An inspiring London Irish youngster will have his hard work celebrated after being nominated for a prize at this year’s HITZ Awards.
HITZ is Premiership Rugby’s award-winning education and employability programme, which works with over 2,000 disadvantaged 14-19 year-olds across England every year.
And to celebrate the hard work put in by countless individuals up and down the country, the 2017 HITZ Awards will take place on 21 November at the BT Centre in a glittering London ceremony.
Of the five gongs on offer, the HITZ Community Impact award recognises an individual’s contribution through volunteering and service, looking at their impact in the community and on themselves, and London Irish HITZ’s Lewis Cox is one of three finalists.
Wayne Morris, Premiership Rugby community and CSR director, said: “The judges and I were mightily impressed by each of the nominees – reading them really did bring home the power of the programme to change lives, and also highlights the dedication and commitment of our HITZ teams in supporting these young people to achieve such fantastic things.
“It was a very tough afternoon’s judging! In some ways it’s a good problem to have, but it does make the shortlisting process very challenging.
“However, each of our expert judges rose to the occasion, carefully considering each application and challenging each other to do a great job!
“Their commitment really reflects the invaluable input of our partners into HITZ, without whom the programme wouldn’t be possible.”
Lewis arrived at the HITZ programme at London Irish as a very quiet, introverted young man, and as a result of the programme his behaviour, communication skills and attitude have developed very positively.
This led to him running a charity event that raised money for the Brittle Bone Society, a charity close to his heart, while he has also embarked on army training.
“The HITZ programme has really gone from strength-to-strength, which is very obvious in the quality of these nominations alone,” added Morris.
“What struck me the most is the breadth of backgrounds and experiences of the young people on the programme, as well as the barriers they’ve overcome to participate.
“We are delighted that HITZ is having such an impact on the lives of young people right across the country.”
This year’s glittering HITZ Awards will take place at the BT Centre on Tuesday 21 November where participants, mentors and rugby stars past and present will gather to celebrate the programme’s achievements. Follow all the action at @HITZRugby.