The HITZ programme is Premiership Rugby’s award-winning education and employability programme which, with the help of its funders Wooden Spoon and The CVC Foundation, works with more than 2,000 14-18-year olds across England every year, and is delivered nationally by England’s 13 professional rugby clubs.

Natalie is The Foundation’s HITZ Officer and supported this years group to take on The Duke of Edinburgh Award!

“On the HITZ programme we have been doing the Duke of Edinburgh Award at bronze level.  The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a youth awards programme founded in the United Kingdom in 1956 by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, that has since expanded to 144 nations – and we were very lucky to be able to be a part of it.

During the pandemic we had to deliver our sessions online for quite a while which presented a few barriers that we had to overcome, but this this award really gave the students the engagement that they needed and hadn’t had for a long time.  We completed the award in a closed expedition where we had loads of different activities around – such as gutter ball, obstacle races, and we had a cooking session with the Jolly Hog where all the learners made a sausage casserole! We had also had rugby robots where they learnt how to code which they have never done before – it was an amazing experience for them all. 

During our time on doing The Duke of Edinburgh the students learnt new skills such as using good communication, as they had to listen to each other and work together as a team – it was amazing to see them all take part as they had not had any physical activities for a while due to COVID.  So, for them to get connected and re-engaged with different activities was amazing to see.

This is the first year at The Harlequins Foundation that we have completed The Duke of Edinburgh Award.  It is amazing to be able to give the young people something to go on their CVs and give them the best opportunity possible to gain different skills and to be able to use those skills and knowledge though out their life.  The Duke of Edinburgh Award enables young people to broaden their horizons and develop skills and attributes such as self-management, team working, confidence and a positive attitude to work.  It was great having the expedition for them to look forward to at the end of the academic year, all the students demonstrated the desired skills during their expedition – it was great to see. 

The Duke of Edinburgh gave all the students something to look forward to.  It also gave them the opportunity to take part in activities and learn about the award. I’m so proud of all of the students who was able to complete the award, and all their commitments they put in during the closed expedition.”

If you would like more information of the HITZ programme and how you might join, contact Natalie today. 

We are hosting a drop in session at The Stoop on Wednesday 18th August 2021 between 1pm – 3pm.  This is a great opportunity to come and chat to one of the team and find out a bit more – come say hi! 


Leave a comment