Bath Rugby Foundation’s Sponsor Our Students campaign has been backed by some of Bath Rugby’s youngest players.

The fundraising effort has been created to directly improve the lives of young people aged 16-24 on Bath Rugby Foundation programmes.

Sponsorship will mean young people attending Bath Rugby Foundation’s HITZ programme can receive the help they need to gain a job or qualification, which can range from training courses or smart interview clothes, to daily meal and the bus fare needed to attend HITZ.

A group of the younger members of the Bath Rugby playing squad, all homegrown current or former members of the club’s academy, have joined together, each contributing money to support a person of a similar age, but living in drastically different circumstances.

The players, Tom de Glanville, Nahum Merigan, Max Ojomoh, Gabriel Hamer Webb, Darren Atkins, Josh Bayliss, Kieran Verden, Miles Reid, Tom Jeanes and Will Butt are all aged 18-22. 

Miles Reid said: “When we heard about Sponsor a Student and realised it was something we could do to help people our age we all agreed straight away.

“We’re all homegrown players and we care about the things that are going on in our city.

“As a group we know that during this lockdown there are people our age who are really suffering and we all want to be able to help them.”

Bath Rugby Foundation’s Sponsor Our Students scheme will enable teenagers who are at risk of being left without hope or opportunity, to gain qualifications and take a step into employment.

Sponsorship will give participants on Bath Rugby Foundation’s award-winning HITZ programme the help they need to succeed. Two of the biggest barriers to attending HITZ regularly are learners cannot afford bus fare or a daily meal. Sponsor a Student will help meet the individual needs of each participant.

Read more about the Sponsor Our Students campaign >>

Tom de Glanville said: “When we heard about the Sponsor a Student campaign, we all wanted to do our bit to help out.

“We all know that there are people out there who are a similar age to us who have a tough life, through no fault of their own and things are only getting harder for them during this lockdown.

“If as players we can help give them the opportunities to succeed, we’re really keen to be a part of this campaign.”

As soon as the fundraising plan was first launched the leadership trio of Charlie Ewels, Stuart Hooper and Tarquin McDonald came forward to sponsor Bath Rugby Foundation learners.

HITZ is Bath Rugby Foundation’s employability programme for 16 to 19 year olds who are considered NEET - not in employment, education or training. HITZ mixes sport with classroom-based learning and enables young adults who are in danger of falling through the net to look ahead at a brighter future.

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Bath Rugby Foundation will have 60 learners starting the HITZ courses in September and Bath Rugby’s charity is seeking 60 businesses, individuals and groups of individuals, each contributing £600 to support them. Each learner will have specific needs and the money will meet those needs.

The Sponsor Our Students campaign is being led by Bath Rugby Foundation’s Corporate Fundraiser, David Trick, who is keen to hear from individuals, groups or businesses who would like to support the charity’s young learners.

To sign up, or learn more about Bath Rugby Foundation’s Support Our Students campaign, email [email protected]