Mayor gives thumbs up to Rugby

The team here at Premiership Rugby were delighted to see an article this Monday applauding the virtues of rugby in tackling aggression in young people – penned by none other than the Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

In the article he wrote in praise of HITZ, the programme Premiership Rugby runs with the Metropolitan Police in six London boroughs, he celebrates the sport for the way it channels aggression into something productive; as he puts it, after a tough game on the pitch “there is no reason for you to go off and get involved in gang violence because frankly that is what you have been doing for the last couple of hours”.

HITZ is designed to introduce young people to Rugby who may never have had the chance to play it before, giving them a confidence boost and demonstrating the possibility of working productively with authority figures, rather than avoiding them. It aims to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, break down barriers between communities and increase participation in sport. It also provides the participants with inspiring role models in the form of coaches and volunteers.

Although the participants are meeting up to play sport, they leave the pitch with more than just bruises. Their respect for others grows, their friendships evolve and they become more disciplined. The programme sees many of the participants bring friends along, take qualifications or even train to become a HITZ volunteer themselves. The sessions really do work.

The Mayor says in his article that millions of kids would benefit from playing this exhilarating sport, and we couldn’t agree more.