Northampton Saints
HITZ Programme



Northampton Saints HITZ Programme is an education and sporting programme for 16-24-year olds where you can:

  • Play sports; Have Fun, Get Fitter, Make New Friends
  • Improve your Maths and English
  • Gain nationally recognised qualifications
  • Learn new skills to become more work ready
  • Learn how to cook and eat more healthily
  • Improve your communication skills and confidence

This includes an exciting mix of sporting activities such as rugby, football, dodgeball, boxing, trampolining, basketball and gym sessions alongside a structured educational programme.

Start dates:
9th September 2019
24th February 2020

Support with exit routes such as Level 2 programmes, apprenticeship programmes and full or part time work.

Open Days

How to Apply


  • Following initial registration via the “apply” button, you are invited to come down and have a look around and an informal interview with the HITZ Officer
  • The HITZ team will find out a bit more about you and your current situation, and how they can best support you
  • Your chance to ask any questions about the education programme



Level 1 Sport and Active Leisure
Start date: September 9th 2019

Employability Certificate Level 1
Start date: September 9th 2019

Employability Certificate Level 2
Start date: Feb 3rd 2020

Alongside these qualifications, you will complete Functional Skills in English and Maths (if required), learn important work skills and participate in workshops to develop important life skills.

Meet the Team

Catherine Deans

As Managing Director she looks to strengthen the programmes we already run – including the Saints Study Centre, Engage, and HITZ – as well as launching new initiatives that will benefit the whole of Northamptonshire.

Highly regarded within the charities, leisure and education sectors, Catherine Deans arrived at the Foundation in June 2019 with a wealth of expertise having held senior positions at Cancer Research UK and Huntingdonshire District Council.


Laura Wright - Support Coordinator

Hi, I’m Laura, I have been working on the Hitz programme for over a year and love what the HITZ programme stands for. I have had a varied career studying Art and working in Retail before to moving into education. I have 8 years’ experience of working on various Education & Training programmes which support in changing lives from adults to young persons, no matter how big or small. Hitz is a very rewarding programme and the range of enrichment activities that the participants get to experience is brilliant. It is definitely a great programme to be a part of and support all of the Premiership Rugby Hitz programmes.

In my spare time I enjoy going to Rugby and Netball games, spending time with family, friends, visiting new places in both the UK and abroad and I love watching Friends TV show!


Shirley Malin

Shirley has previously worked at Northampton College offering classroom support to various students on many different courses.  The role required her to work alongside the mental health team, including scribing, encouraging correct behaviour, working towards independence for each student and getting them prepared for the next level of the course or employment.  Shirley is very driven and thrives to push students to get the best possible outcomes. Shirley helps to support the student in within their education. Helps support with progression into further education, Traineeship, Apprentiships or Employment

Jordan Letts

Jordan is a UKCC Level 2 Rugby Coach who has a strong passion for working with young people. Alongside being a sports coach Jordan has a positive education background having been enrolled at Moulton College then progressing onto Nottingham Trent University.  Jordan studied Sports Leisure and Educational Development, during this time the main focus of his research was the HITZ programme and the positive effect it has on so many young people. Jordan has been employed at the Saints since 2015 to which has started numerous inclusion programmes and is department Managers

Tamara Richards

Tamara is the Tutor at the Northampton Saints HITZ programme. I have been with SCL for 3 years, which I have delivered a number of qualifications at mainly football academies. I joined the Saints HITZ team in September 2018 and feel this programme enhances young people’s lives and I gain satisfaction from seeing them progress into education, employment and training. Tamara is passionate about fitness and training, she also competes in CrossFit competition and swam nationally in swimming. 

Success Stories

HITZ winner hoping for future as Northampton Saints player 

HITZ Award winner Milton Kachecha hopes to create a future for himself in the game after being picked up by the Northampton Saints Developing Player Programme.

Kachecha scooped the HITZ Best Rugby Performer at the glittering London ceremony at the BT Centre back in November 2017 and collected his prize from World Cup winner Jason Robinson.

The HITZ Best Rugby Performer award, supported by Land Rover, recognises a young person whose progress in the sport of rugby – on and off the pitch – has helped them overcome a range of challenges and progress back into education, training or employment.

Kachecha played some rugby in his home country of Zimbabwe, as well as cricket, but found his confidence knocked by his low academic ability.

He arrived in England, with his Dad and younger brother, looking for a better life with HITZ being the first programme of its type he joined.

He later signed up with Old Northamptonians Colts section, helping them win the final of the Alliance Cup at Franklin’s Gardens and was immediately picked up by the Premiership Rugby club.

“HITZ has helped me see the future I have an opportunity to do well and I’m going to try my hardest to achieve, if that’s playing rugby or going to college,” he said.

“The HITZ programme has given me motivation to want to do more and work harder and now I see a future for me in rugby.

“They’re looking at me for East Midlands Academy so it’s really good at the moment for me rugby-wise and it’s all thanks to HITZ really.”

Read more


Grace McFarlane

Prior to joining the HITZ programme, Grace went to Malcolm Arnold Academy. Her time spent in mainstream education was very up and down, with everything being normal up until year 9 when she started being bullied by a group that she classed as her friends. Due to this, Grace started to feel very unwelcome at school and no longer wanted to attend. Her attendance took a big hit and it continued up until year 11. At the start of year 11, it all became a bit much for Grace and lead her to becoming depressed, losing track of school and becoming disengaged with friends and support networks. Her attendance dropped to an all-time low, where she would maybe attend school once per week. It got to a point where Grace felt like she could not deal with life anymore, and as a result she sought professional help and was allocated a councillor for a year.  

HITZ programme. Since joining the programme, she has become a true role model for the current and future learners. The HITZ officers have worked closely with her to improve her self-esteem and self-belief, and this has led to her growing in confidence, enabling her to volunteer on a range of Northampton’s social inclusion programmes, which would never have been a possibility months ago.  She has gone from being really shy to being able to lead sessions with up to 10 young people, having a positive impact on their lives as well. She has managed to gain a part time job which she has held down alongside doing the HITZ programme, which has enabled her to pass her driving test and now drive herself to sessions, all 100% funded by herself.  

Grace has been invited to apply for the apprentice role coming up at Northampton Saints Foundation, and has currently made it to the final round. She is a big advocate of the programme and often reminds the staff and other learners how the HITZ programme has improved her confidence, as well as her ability to interact with others. Additionally, she has found the skills of CV writing and employability workshops extremely valuable in her development. Grace’s owns words describe her HITZ journey perfectly, “HITZ has been there for me when I had nowhere else to turn, they gave me a purpose and qualifications which I did not leave school with. I am really happy to see what the future holds for me”

HITZ Awards


The HITZ Awards are annual celebration of the hard work put in by countless individuals up and down the country.

With a number of stars and well-known public figures in attendance on the night, it is a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements, as well as the personal growth and development of a number of learners, and volunteers.

For more information on last years awards, please follow the link


Select the categories below to watch the videos of the shortlisted participants from 2017/18, who will be able to tell you a bit more about their inspirational journeys through HITZ:



How much does the programme cost?
It is completely Free of Charge

Do I have to like or play rugby?
Not at all, the programme will include a large range of sporting and physical activities.

How long does the programme last?
Each club runs their own timetable, but will last anywhere from 12 weeks to a full year

What qualifications will I do?
Each club will run different qualifications, please speak to your chosen club for more information.

Will I do Maths and English?
Yes, English and Maths will be included for all learners who do not currently have a qualification

How many days per week will I be in class?
Most clubs run for at least 3 days, but some run for up to 5 depending on their chosen programme.

How long is a day?
The majority of days will start at 9:30/10am and finish at 3:30/4pm.

Will there be financial support for travel and food?
This will depend on your personal circumstances and whether you are eligible for a bursary.


Course Location

Franklins Gardens, Weedon Road, Northampton NN5 5BG

Education Provider

SCL Education Group

Course Provider

Northampton Saints

Northampton Saints HITZ Programme Flyer

Request a copy of our HITZ Programme Flyer to find out more about our education & sporting programmes.
  • SCL are pleased to announce that they are Finalists for the Apprenticeship Provider of the Year!

  • SCL are an Ofsted registered Childcare provider.

  • SCL have partnered with De Montfort University to launch a Sports Coaching Degree programme,

  • The Flame Awards are the largest celebration of innovation and excellence from across the sector.

  • SCL are strategic partners with UKactive.

  • EU EFS

  • Matrix

  • Traineeships are a stepping stone to future success for young people, businesses and the wider economy.

  • Our Saturday Soccer Coaches are FA qualified, Level 2 and above

  • SCL's School Sport Apprenticeship programme has been designed specifically to give those wanting a career in coaching and physical education the skills, knowledge and qualifications to help make it happen.

  • SCL is an employer partner of the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity.

  • SCL were awarded an Ofsted outstanding in 2015 for their Holiday Activities.

  • HITZ is Premiership Rugby’s award-winning education and employability programme.