A TEENAGER from Worcester has spoken of how a scheme which uses rugby to keep youngsters out of trouble has turned his life around.
Mikey Southall was one of a number of young people, aged between 11 and 19, to take part in Worcester Warriors’ HITZ programme.
The scheme, which is on offer at all 12 Aviva Premiership clubs, was set up three years ago to provide life skills training and mentoring through a structured rugby programme.
It also tries to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing youngsters, including unemployment, crime and disillusionment, and Mikey said it has helped him to channel his frustrations onto the rugby field.
“HITZ has changed my life in various ways,” he said. “Not just the rugby but also my tutor who has helped me a lot with my confidence.
“The rugby has also helped a lot and showed me a lot of discipline and helped me take out some of my anger on the pitch as well.”
Stuart Brooks, HITZ officer at Worcester Warriors, believes Mickey is the perfect example of why the campaign was launched.
He added: “I want to make HITZ Worcester Warriors as big as I can and branch into Birmingham and reach a lot more people.
“But it’s not just about the rugby, it’s about putting in place the lifestyle changes, education, sorting out the different issues that young people have.
“That is the biggest part of it – getting to the root of their problems, helping them understand who they are and not putting a burden or a brick wall in front of them. The HITZ programme changes people’s lives.”
To find out more information about the scheme visit hitzrugby.com