Anthony Perenise, Bath Rugby prop and seven times capped Samoan International, has been announced as Bath Rugby Foundation’s new Hitz Rugby ambassador.
In his new role, Anthony will be the face of the programme and help support its growth throughout the 2013-2014 season.
Anthony had his first taste of a Hitz session at Southside Youth Center in Whiteway recently, where the Hitz delivery team opens up the gym for young people from the estate to come in off the street and get fit.
The young people who attend the regular Wednesday night session had a surprise when Anthony made an appearance. It provided them with a great opportunity to ask questions and find out what life as a professional rugby player is all about.
After observing what the young people did in the gym Anthony challenged one of the youngsters to a 250 meter rowing race. Unfortunately for Anthony he picked 13-year-old Charlie who holds one of the fastest times in the gym for the 250 meter row, at 1:03 seconds. It was a close race with Charlie just coming out on top.
Bath Rugby Foundation Hitz Officer Stephen Barber said: “It’s great to see Anthony up here interacting with the kids and showing such an interest in what they are doing in the gym. The guys that come up to the gym work really hard, focusing on little challenges such as the 250 meter row. They are getting fit without actually realising it. Plus it keeps these guys of the street and out of trouble when they are in here with me which benefits both them and the community.”
Hitz ambassador Anthony Perenise said: “I am extremely proud to have come onboard as the new Ambassador of Hitz. It is an important programme which can make a real difference to the lives of young people in the local area. I have seen first-hand what can happen in life when you choose to go down the wrong path and I believe this programme really helps give young people another path to choose.
“I look forward to supporting Hitz and helping it grow throughout the next season. I also look forward to spending more time with the many kids involved, particularly those I’ve already met at the Whiteway Youth Hub – even if some of them were more interested in my cauliflower ears!”
The Hitz project is supported by Barclays Spaces For Sport and is a progressive, high profile programme delivered by the Aviva Premiership Club, The Bath Rugby Foundation and the Wooden Spoon Children’s Charity. Hitz targets young people from the ages of 11-19 years at risk of exclusion and anti-social behaviour, introducing them – often for the first time – to touch and contact rugby along with other sporting activities.
HITZ Bath also provides NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) participants with the opportunity to access personal and social development programmes, educational support, vocational training programmes and workforce development apprenticeships and volunteering opportunities.
Anthony joined Bath Rugby in 2011, following the Rugby World Cup. Arriving from the Hurricanes Super 15 franchise he has added more strength and power to the existing front row as well as being a huge threat to opposing teams due to his incredible mobility around the pitch.