Inspiring positive social change through the power of rugby.

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In December 2013, Land Rover announced a new partnership with HITZ, an award winning social change programme delivered by Premiership Rugby and its associated clubs. The partnership builds on Land Rover’s existing work with Premiership Rugby, which includes the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, a grassroots rugby tournament.

The HITZ initiative will be delivered across the country by all 12 Premiership Rugby clubs to help young people overcome personal barriers through a structured programme of rugby, life skills training and mentoring.

HITZThe participants speak about their experiences in the programme

Land Rover hosted a Seeing is Believing event in September 2015, facilitated by Business in the Community, to showcase the HITZ programme and the work that Land Rover has been doing to help develop the initiative and support the youngsters being engaged.

Business in the Community operates a tried and tested Seeing is Believing programme designed to expose senior executives to the realities of disadvantaged communities and inspire them to take action to address these social challenges by showcasing successful approaches adopted by other organisations.

For the purpose of the HITZ session in London, senior executives had the chance to meet youngsters from across the country who are benefiting from the positive work Land Rover and the HITZ programme are affording them. Attendees were also taken to a nearby housing estate to get first hand exposure to the type of environment that many of the programmes participants grow up in.

Joining the senior executives for the showcase event was Land Rover rugby ambassador Jason Robinson. The former England winger was part of the 2003 Rugby World Cup winning side but prior to that had a very similar upbringing to the youngsters being helped by the HITZ programme. Robinson has a very acute understanding of the challenges facing today’s youngsters and the power of sport and specifically rugby in helping face and overcome these challenges.

By showcasing the HITZ programme, Land Rover’s key aim was to inspire senior executives in attendance to take action and engage in employment programmes, such as HITZ, as part of their CSR programmes.

Land Rover Showcases the HITZ Programme

Land Rover and HITZ

Land Rover have teamed up with some of rugby’s biggest names – including Martin Johnson, Jason Robinson, Kyran Bracken, Mark Regan and Dan Cole – to showcase the award-winning programme.

In April 2014, the five rugby ambassadors visited Jaguar Land Rover locations Halewood, Solihull, Gaydon, Whitley and Castle Bromwich alongside representatives from regional HITZ programmes.

Highlights from the day included Martin Johnson attending the Solihull manufacturing facility for an exclusive tour of the Land Rover production line with members of the Leicester Tigers HITZ programme.

HITZJason Robinson talks about his role in a programme he is passionate about

Meanwhile, Jason Robinson met Sale Sharks HITZ participants and joined them on a Land Rover driving experience in Halewood, before touring the production line.

The HITZ programme is close to my heart; I have been through the challenges these youngsters face, so know that through Land Rover and HITZ support they are going to get the support they need, when they need it.

Jason Robinson

Retailer Event - Listers Droitwich and Worcester Warriors

Worcester Warriors HITZ participants visit Listers Land Rover, Droitwich

Various HITZ clubs across the country have visited Jaguar Land Rover sites to see how the company functions, and what it takes to remain competitive and succeed in the automotive industry. At the end of the 2013-14 Aviva Premiership season, members of Worcester Warriors HITZ programme visited their local retailer for a day’s work experience, getting a valuable glimpse into what goes into the running of a successful part of the Land Rover business. The young adults were joined by players from Worcester Warriors rugby club, to lend a hand and learn more about the programme and how Land Rover are giving their support.

"As a retailer we are proud to offer something back to our local community"

Jon Hands, General Sales Manager of Land Rover Listers Droitwich, oversaw the visit and learnt first-hand the benefits the programme is having on the lives of those it supports.

To be able to host the youngsters and show how Land Rover is supporting the HITZ programme is really important. As a retailer we are proud to be in a position to offer something back to our local community. We have a close relationship with Worcester Warriors and this extends to great work they are doing with HITZ. Showing the youngsters around the Land Rover showroom has hopefully given them an idea of possible career opportunities open to them.

Jon Hands

Retailer Event - Stratstone Newcastle and Newcastle Falcons

Stratstone Land Rover, Newcastle invited the members of the Newcastle Falcons HITZ programme to spend a day behind the scenes at their showroom in July 2014.

The HITZ members were given a tour of the showroom and workshop, showcasing the different areas of the business, and later experienced the capabilities of our vehicle range first hand on the Land Rover off-road track.

Newcastle Falcons HITZ Participants enjoying Land Rover Experience

The HITZ programme encourages members to build on various interpersonal skills, with the aim of securing a route into the world of work. Sales Assistant, Daniel Johnston, 22, inspired the HITZ group with his story of leaving school without the qualifications he had hoped for. However, by working hard and taking his chances, he was able to earn the opportunity to work for a global company.

David Flatman and Exeter Chiefs HITZ programme take on a day of activity at Land Rover Experience West Country

Ex England and Bath Rugby forward David Flatman joined members from the Exeter Chiefs HITZ programme for a day of off road and team building activities at Land Rover Experience’s West Country centre. It was a rare chance for the programme members to experience first-hand the full capabilities of the Land Rover vehicles. It was also a great opportunity to meet a rugby legend and learn more about how the values of the HITZ programme also apply to rugby.

HITZDavid Flatman enjoys a challenging Experience Day with the Exeter Chiefs HITZ participants

Flatman is no stranger to difficult situations, albeit scrum related, however he was able to learn more about the troubles some youngsters face in the day to day lives. Premiership Rugby’s award winning social inclusion initiative helps youngsters deal with these troubles using the principles of rugby.

Through the support of Land Rover and the other three key partners, HITZ programme youngsters are afforded a chance to take a step away from any troubles or difficulties they are experiencing and through the help of rugby ambassadors like Flatman, are able to get a fresh take on their situation and perhaps pick up some valuable advice along the way.