Central YMCA & Premiership Rugby HITZ

HITZ is one team, with one dream, to find the steps in life for a better future.
Not sure of your next move? We can help you. Join the HITZ Family to build your skills, gain a qualification and take your next step.

We believe that every young person deserves the best opportunity to achieve their potential – and we will support you to do just that.

What is HITZ?

HITZ is Premiership Rugby’s award-winning employability and education programme, with Central YMCA as the official education provider.

We will we will work with you to find out what you’re interested in and where you want to get to. Then we’ll help you get there, supporting you every step of the way in an environment that is different from school and where staff will treat you with respect.

HITZ uses rugby’s core values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship to support you to change your life and change your future.

What you'll get out of it

  • Gain a qualification in Sport or Employability
  • Gain Maths and English qualifications
  • Build skills to become more work ready
  • Support with writing your CV and getting a job
  • Find a role model or mentor to help you find your next steps
  • Improve your confidence
  • Staff will treat you with respect in an environment that is different from school
  • Support for your mental and physical health
  • Meet people like you, have fun and take part in a range of activities
HITZ Centers

Bristol bearsExerterGloucester
HarlequinsNorthampton SaintsSales Sharks

Who can join?

HITZ supports learners aged 16-18.

Learners aged 19+ may be eligible for funding if they have an EHCP.


Depending on the centre:

  • Level 1 & Level 2 Employability Skills
  • Level 1 & Level 2 Sport and Active Leisure
  • Pre-apprenticeship

It's free

The cost of this tuition is fully funded for 16-18-year old’s.

About the programme

What you will learn

Dependent on the Centre that you choose to study at, you will complete a qualification in either:

  • Level 1 Sport and Active Leisure
  • Level 2 Sport and Active Leisure
  • Level 1 Employability Skills
  • Level 2 Employability Skills
  • Pre-apprenticeship programmes

During your programme, you will benefit from:

  • High quality and passionate tutors who are specialists in sport and employability skills
  • Quality assurance and performance coaches to oversee your tutor and lessons
  • An innovative learning experience using our virtual learning hub, plus access to free Microsoft software
  • Wellbeing programme and mental health support
  • A safe learning environment with the highest level of safeguarding


English & Maths

If you have not yet achieved a grade 9-4 (formerly A+ - C) in GCSE Maths and/or English, you will continue to study these subjects at your level.

Personal and professional development

Our passionate team of HITZ Officers and Tutors will deliver Central YMCA's Personal Development Programme, which will consist of a blend of group workshops and individual development meetings, aimed to add significant value to the progress and development of each learner.

The programme will include key themes such as morals and values, mental health awareness, healthy relationships, digital skills, and careers, and will form part of your timetable.

Your Personal Development Programme will allow you to stand out from the crowd. You will develop the behaviours, attitudes and values, inspired by sport, which are transferrable into the professional world, supporting you to receive the best possible opportunities for your future.

Work experience

Participating in work experience allows you to enhance your personal development and knowledge of a variety of industries.

We understand the importance of real work experience which is why, as part of your education and training programme, you will take part in meaningful work experience. 

You will gain insight into what it will be like to work in a range of industries, whilst developing your communication, IT, time management and team working skills.

By showcasing your skills, knowledge and personality through work experience and direct engagement with employers, you will increase your opportunities to secure meaningful employment upon completion of your course.



The enrichment element of your programme includes an exciting mix of sporting activities and personal development opportunities. Depending on the centre this might include:

  • Rugby
  • Football
  • Dodgeball
  • Yoga
  • Basketball
  • Gym sessions
  • Public speaking classes
  • Additional qualifications such as First Aid
  • CV and cover letter writing
  • Support with education and/or job applications

Your programme also includes day trips. Examples of previous day trips include visits to Thorpe Park, mini golf activities, day trips to London and visits to other HITZ sites.

Student support

Our team of HITZ Officers and Tutors have been carefully chosen for their skills which allow them to really connect with young people. They will provide outstanding support and will pass on their experience, knowledge and skills onto you. Our Tutors are also available to help you with personal issues, learning needs, study support, financial problems, accommodation, time management and getting you ready for employment.

We’re here to support when times feel tough as well as providing guidance to work out what to do next. 

Central YMCA are nationally accredited for information, advice and guidance and we are trained in these areas to help you with your development.

Each learner will receive impartial and relevant guidance to support a successful transition onto their next step of their professional journey, wherever that may be.

“HITZ changed my life because it gave me a second chance at creating a life for myself. If I hadn’t joined the program, I cannot guarantee that I would be here today at all and would have had very little achievement. The future would have been bleak. HITZ has helped me build confidence again and gave me a purpose in everyday life. Joining HITZ has given me a positive future with aspirations of becoming a teacher.”

Callum Pope, HITZ Graduate


Bristol Bears HITZ



Lockleaze Sports Centre Off Bonnington Walk, Lockleaze, Bristol, BS7 9FJ

Programme available:

Level 1 Employability Skills

Level 2 Employability Skills

Maths and English GCSE or Functional skills



Exeter Chiefs HITZ



Topsham Rugby Club, Bonfire Road, Topsham EX3 0LY

Programmes available:

Level 2 Employability Skills

Maths and English GCSE or Functional skills



Gloucester Rugby HITZ



Kingsholm Stadium, Kingsholm, Gloucester, GL1 3AZ

Programmes available:

NCFE Level 1 Sport

Maths and English GCSE or Functional skills



Harlequins Rugby HITZ



Twickenham Stoop, Langhorn Drive, Twickenham, TW2 7SX

Programmes available:

BTEC Level 1 Sports

BTEC Level 2 Sports

BTEC Level 3 Sports Coaching

Maths and English GCSE or Functional skills



Northampton Saints HITZ



Northampton Saints, Franklin’s Gardens, Weedon Road, NN5 5BG

Programmes available:

Level 1 Employability Skills

Level 2 Employability Skills

Maths and English GCSE or Functional skills



Sale Sharks HITZ



Sale West Community Centre, Newbury Avenue, Sale, M33 4QJ

Programmes available:

Level 1 Employability Skills

Level 2 Employability Skills

Maths and English GCSE or Functional skills


HITZ has supported more than 20,000 young people since it started in 2008 and each year supports more than 2,000 young people across England.