Jared wins award after making great strides thanks to HITZ scheme
» GLOUCESTER Rugby’s Jared Spence won the BREAKTHRU Achiever of the Year Award supported by SCL - at the 2019 Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards.
After dropping out of school in year 10 and subsequently struggling to leave his house, Jared turned his life around through Premiership Rugby’s HITZ programme.
HITZ is Premiership Rugby’s awardwinning education and employability programme delivered nationally by England’s 13 professional rugby clubs which works with over 2,000 14 to 18-year-olds every year and gets them back into education, training, apprenticeships and/or employment.
Thanks to the programme, Jared was able to complete his qualifications as well as build his confidence and recover from his darker times.
He said: “It means a lot to have won the award. I’ve come from quite a difficult time and I feel this is one of the biggest points in my life.
“The programme has changed me quite a lot. I’ve come from not being able to go out to doing a lot of things I wouldn’t normally do.
“If you were to tell me a year ago that I would be here winning this award I wouldn’t have believed anything like this could happen.
“My family and friends have definitely noticed a difference in me. I would just sit at home doing the bare minimum.
“I feel a lot more confident now than a year or two ago.”
Jared took home the prize having also gained his gym instructor level two qualification through the programme as he works towards his dream of becoming a personal instructor.
“I’ve just got my level two gym instructor qualification, now I’m aiming for level three and I want to be a personal trainer, it’s going to be hard but I’ll get there,” Jared added.
“I like helping people. I feel like if I can get somebody out of a similar situation to what I was in then that’s the most important thing.
“Moving forward, the programme opens up a lot of opportunity for jobs. I’d recommend any programme like this as the benefits to me were big so I feel that anyone who takes the opportunity will not regret it.”
SCL divisional employability lead Ian Cooper praised Jared’s ability to bounce park from a difficult past and emphasised the role sport can play in changing society.
Ian Cooper from SCL presents Jared Spence with his award alongside Gloucester Rugby’s Alex Seville