The Foundation will be taking centre stage when Bath Rugby take on age-old rivals Leicester Tigers at Twickenham on April 7, with the match shirt featuring the Bath Rugby Foundation XV.
All fifteen have been selected for their achievements while taking part in a range of the Foundation’s programmes.
In a short period of time 16-year-old Jade Whale has become an inspirational leader on the Hitz programme.
Previously a student at John of Gaunt School at GCSE she didn’t get her results in English that she wanted. She’d found it difficult over the year and avoided some lessons.
She met Foundation coaches on GCSE results day and enrolled with Hitz. She’s currently doing very well and has become a leader for the group and a very positive influence on the other students. She’s also progressing in English and on track to get her grades.
Paul Short said picking Jade to be part of the Bath Rugby Foundation XV was a “no brainer”.
He said: “Jade is a phenomenal character that just epitomises what we are trying to achieve not only in Hitz, but as a Foundation as a whole.
“She is a natural leader in the classroom; she inspires other people to work hard
In just a short period of time she’s grown in confidence. Just in that time with us she’s developed fitness programmes and I think her next step now will be going back into coaching. She’s been coaching at after school clubs and coaching in the community.
“She is just committed to everything she does – everything she tries her hand at – and that dedication I think is going to allow her to go very far.”
HITZ is Premiership Rugby’s award-winning education and employability programme which works with over 2,000 14 to 18-year-olds across England every year. HITZ uses rugby to engage young people who are NEET (not in education, employment or training) to give them the skills and qualifications they need to get back on their feet.
Having previously considered a career in the armed forces and the police, Jade said the Hitz programme has helped her form plans for her future.
She said: “It has grown my confidence. It has opened my mind up about what I want to do in the future. It has given me the opportunity to do different things.”
In her spare time Jade plays football for Westbury Youth & Trowbridge Town Ladies Football Club. She also takes photographs of buildings around town and loves running.
HITZ uses rugby’s core values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship to get young people not in education, training or employment (NEET) back into education, training, apprenticeships and/or employment, and is delivered nationally by England’s 12 professional rugby clubs.
Using the ethos of rugby as a vehicle, HITZ develops grit, tenacity and perseverance – vital in the world of work. Our specialist coaches capitalise on rugby’s ability to remove barriers, build trust and increase confidence to set students on the path to success. HITZ also responds to the crisis of physical inactivity amongst disadvantaged and vulnerable young people. 90% of students completing the course improve their numeracy, literacy and IT skills. At least 75% take on further education, employment, training, work placements or apprenticeships. The programme also gives students a qualification – a level 1 diploma in Sport and Active leisure.