Wasps HITZ programme young learner Jason Kitchin, has won the “Young Achiever Award” at the prestigious Hitz Rugby Awards held at the BT centre in London.

Wasps’ second row Kearnan Myall was also in attendance to present the award and congratulate Wasps’ HITZ star.

Jason, 18, who moved to Shilton from Northampton last year, was recognised for his inspiring ability to conquer significant obstacles in his life. Jason, who has ADHD and ASD, was expelled from secondary school and soon became depressed after his mother was diagnosed with cancer.

However, he showed incredible character to overcome adversity when he joined the HITZ programme last year and went on to achieve level two qualifications in Maths and English. He has also been accepted on to the Prince’s Trust programme, as he aims to become a youth worker in the future.

Jason was nominated for the HITZ Awards alongside two other teenagers from the city, who were shortlisted by Wasps.

Carter Moran, 19, from Bell Green missed the majority of his secondary school years after being bullied for having the condition Gender Dysphoria – where a person experiences discomfort due to a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity.

Carter was shortlisted by Wasps for the “HITZ Young Ambassador of the Year,” after joining the programme in February 2016. He has gained level one Maths and English qualifications and also has a level one qualification in sport coaching. Carter said he was determined “to show other people that it is ok to be different and that I am proof that if you don’t let your identity hold you back, then you can achieve what you want to achieve in any walk of life.”

Stanna Shaylor, 19, from Earlsdon is another person who has transformed her life via the programme, and was shortlisted for the “HITZ Community Impact Award.”

Before she joined HITZ she suffered from mood swings that resulted in a criminal conviction following an altercation, and left secondary school with no qualifications above a grade D.

Stanna now has a full-time job working in hospitality at the Ricoh Arena, after impressing on the HITZ programme where she secured Maths, English and first aid qualifications while doing various community volunteering.

HITZ is Premiership Rugby’s education and employability programme, which works with more than 2,000 disadvantaged 14 to 19-year-olds across England every year and is delivered by rugby clubs such as Wasps at a regional level.

Anthony O’Reilly has been delivering the 24-week HITZ programme on behalf of Wasps to up to 15 students a week that are not currently in education, employment or training. He said:

“On behalf of everyone at Wasps, I’d like to congratulate all three students for their incredible achievements in life and for being nominated for these awards. We are incredibly proud of them all and were delighted to see their efforts recognised at the HITZ Awards and particularly to see Jason win the “Young Achiever” accolade.

“These students have managed to get a broad range of volunteering experiences to prepare them for the world of work and explore what interests them the most.

“This includes working on events such as conferences at the Ricoh Arena and Wasps match days, through to completing courses relating to managing money.”

For more information about the @HITZRugby programme, visit www.wasps.co.uk/community