(Photograph credit: Steve Bardens/Getty Images for Harlequins)

The Harlequins Foundation are delighted to be launching their partnership with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE), making Harlequins the only Premiership Rugby club currently licensed to deliver the DofE.

This marks the latest development in The Harlequins Foundation’s HITZ programme, delivered in partnership with Premiership Rugby supporting 16-18-year-olds who are NEET (not in education, employment or training) offering young people the chance to develop vital life skills.

Last weekend, The Harlequins Foundation were presented with their DofE licence certificate on the pitch during half time at a home game against Exeter Chiefs.

The DofE is a youth achievement award that gives young people the chance to learn new skills for life and work and enhance existing strengths. A DofE Award programme consists of four sections at Bronze and Silver level, and five at Gold, which includes; Volunteering, Physical, Skills, Expedition, and Residential (Gold only). Each young person will need to complete every section to achieve their DofE Award. The DofE programmes offered by the Harlequins Foundation will culminate with a self-led, self-planned and self-reliant expedition over the course of two days and one night before the end of the rugby season.

This academic year will see the first cohort of young people start their Bronze DofE Award, with the ambition of being able to offer young people that return to our HITZ programme next year the chance to move on to achieve their Silver DofE Award.

The Harlequins Foundation Education Officer, Mark Kilgallon, said:

“I am delighted that we are now able to offer The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to the young people attending our HITZ Learning Academy.”

“This presents a unique opportunity for them to gain essential skills through a well-established and recognisable youth development award. I am excited to see how this develops and the added benefit it will bring to our young people.”

Clare Argar, Director of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in London, said:

“We are delighted to have licensed The Harlequins Foundation to deliver the DofE to young people who are NEET and who are engaging with them through their HITZ programme.”