Posted by SCL Education Group on 09.07.19

The shortlists for the 2019 Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards have been announced and SCL are proud sponsors of the Breakthru Achiever of the Year Award.

Held at the House of Commons on Wednesday 17 July, the annual event celebrates the hard work and dedication of people up and down the country. 

The Breakthru Achiever of the Year Award is one of four awards up for grabs and rewards someone who has excelled in any one of Premiership Rugby’s education, health or social inclusion programmes. This year’s nominations for the award are Jared Spence (Gloucester Rugby), Courtney Bell (Newcastle Falcons) and Danielle Tuson (Wasps). 

SCL’s partnership with Premiership Rugby continues to go from strength-to-strength, with the two organisations improving the lives of 16-18-year-olds through the award-winning HITZ programme.   

Using rugby’s core values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship, HITZ supports young people not in education, training or employment to get back into education, training, apprenticeships or employment. 

As well as HITZ, there are other national programmes that operate across the country which all 13 Premiership Rugby shareholder clubs deliver. More than 310,000 people every year are assisted in some way through Premiership Rugby’s ‘Plan To Improve a Million Lives’, with initiatives designed for all walks of life. 

Managing Director of SCL Education and Training Brad Rushton said: “I’m immensely proud that we are sponsoring the Breakthru Achiever of the Year Award. The awards are a great way to celebrate the success stories of many people who have changed their lives through a range of national programmes. 

“Our partnership with Premiership Rugby allows us to use the power of sport to positively impact on the lives of young people across the UK, which is our passion and we are delighted to be continuing our partnership with Premiership Rugby. ”  

Wayne Morris, Premiership Rugby Community and CSR Director said: “There is a range of national programmes that operate across the country, which all our clubs help deliver to their local community. 

“That is from improving access to people from black and ethnic minority groups, breaking down barriers and giving them better access to sport and opportunities, all the way through to our HITZ scheme, which helps young people not in education or employment and teaches them life skills and employability skills in order to guide them to a more positive progression route. 

“We have a vast range of scheme across multiple areas, so we are helping to change lives in lots of different ways. 

“For those who come through the programmes, it is an incredibly life-changing experience. It is something which drives enthusiasm across the country.

“I think it is very humbling for everyone. There is a team of people who make this happen behind the scenes but you don’t often see it. 

“It is very nice to hear people’s stories and to see the impact that our programme has had on them is very rewarding. It just confirms all the effort we all put works.” 

The full shortlist is below, but to read more about Premiership Rugby’s community programmes, please visit while you can join in the conversation via the hashtag #RugbyChangingLives 

Shortlist for BREAKTHRU Achiever of the Year award, supported by SCL: 

Jared Spence – Gloucester Rugby 

Jared joined Premiership Rugby’s HITZ programme after dropping out of school in Year 10, being home schooled and only passing his English and Maths qualifications. Having suffered from anxiety, taking part in HITZ allowed the flexibility Jared required in order to complete his courses and not become overwhelmed. As part of the HITZ programme, Jared was able to gain his gym instructor level 2 qualification and he now works and is on the path to becoming a personal instructor. 

Courtney Bell – Newcastle Falcons 

After dropping out of mainstream college, Courtney was referred onto the HITZ programme where she has thrived from the informal and practical learning environment. This has enabled her to move forward with her education and get closer to her dream job of working with disabled children. Having suffered with low self-esteem, being part of HITZ has allowed Courtney to grow in confidence and become more comfortable in social situations. 

Danielle Tuson – Wasps

Having been excluded from a number of schools, Danielle felt isolated, was unable to channel any of her emotions and didn’t have anyone to confide in. Since joining the HITZ programme, she has turned her life around. HITZ’s small class sizes and understanding staff provided her with the support she never had in mainstream education. Through the programme she has made new friends, increased her confidence and self-esteem and is currently working towards her Level 2 in Maths and English and then plans to return to college to enrol on a sports course whilst also continuing to volunteer in youth work.

PLAY ACHIEVER OF THE YEAR, supported by Gallagher 

The PLAY Achiever of the Year Award rewards someone who has excelled in any programme which introduces rugby to new audiences. They may have overcome physical, cultural or social barriers to become involved in the game whilst embodying the spirit of our PLAY campaign.

Shortlist: Jess McConnell (Bath Rugby), Kascie Higgins (Northampton Saints), Howard Coppenhall (Sale Sharks) and Cheick Kone (Worcester Warriors) 


The Community Volunteer of the Year Award is designed to reward a person who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the community through their work at the club. The award is for the person who has used not just their spare time, but also their passion, determination and dedication to make an outstanding contribution through their work at the club.

Shortlist: Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby), Matthew Hulme (Sale Sharks) and Connie Perkins (Wasps) 

COMMUNITY COACH OF THE YEAR, supported by the All Parliamentary Group on Rugby Union 

The Community Coach of the Year Award rewards a community coach who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to change the lives of participants through a national or local programme.

Shortlist: James Collins Clark (Harlequins), Craig Monaghan (Sale Sharks) and Anthony O’Reilly (Wasps)

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