Sharks Community Engagement Officer George Nour and two of the up and coming stars of the Holden Cup NYC squad in Anthony Moraitis and Alec Susino put a recent bye week to good use when they ventured into regional NSW to promote the Sharks, the sport of rugby league and positive health messages.
The trio visited six schools and two junior league clubs in the Riverina area, taking in towns such as Wagga Wagga, Tullibigeal, Lake Cargelligo and Leeton, presenting the NRL’s ‘Tackle Bullying’ program, promoting healthy living and conducting coaching clinics.
In all they engaged with almost 1500 kids, their parents and families, not including Saturday morning Group 20 junior footy, where they would interact with players from 38 various teams representing six local clubs.
There efforts were certainly appreciated, with Tim Del Guzzo, NRL Game Development Officer for South West NSW, expressing his gratitude in a letter to Sharks management.
“Overall the visit from the Cronulla Sharks to Lake Cargelligo was a huge success,” Del Guzzo wrote. “I can’t speak highly enough of Anthony and Alec and how they presented themselves. The way they spoke at schools and engaged with the community showed a maturity beyond their years.
“A special thanks also to George for again being easy and accommodating to work with, for his organisational skills and for the help he provided in delivering key messages in schools.
“On behalf of the NRL Game Development Unit South West NSW, I would like to extend a sincere thankyou to you and the Cronulla Sharks club for your assistance in providing players, staff and merchandise for this trip,” he added.
“We thank you again and hope that we may be able to continue this partnership into the future.”
In their travels the Sharks dropped into Wagga High, Mt. Austin High School, Mater Dei Primary, Tullibigeal Central School, Lake Cargelligo Central and St. Francis Xavier.
As far as the junior league involvement, the boys attended Lake Cargelligo Sharks junior training where 101 young players participated, before dropping into the Leeton junior league club, home of Sharks NRL halfback Jeff Robson, where 250 were in attendance.
The Sharks also donated a signed jersey to the Lake Cargelligo Sharks seniors for their ‘Close the Gap’ fundraiser.
In a positive surrounding the Sharks visit, the Lake Cargelligo junior rugby league has 66 players registered, however on the afternoon the players attended 101 kids showed up to train.
“This is a significant increase in not only kids attending training but also in registrations, which are more than double what they were last year thanks in no small part to the previous year’s visit from the Cronulla Sharks,” Del Guzzo added.
The Sharks visit to the Riverina area was in partnership with NRL Game Development and as a part of on-going efforts to contribute to community causes and initiatives both locally and in regional areas.