Ahead of the Sharks top-four clash with the Broncos on Sunday, the playing squad met with some of their proudest supporters after training earlier this week.

Gig Buddies – a project that pairs up people with and without learning disabilities to be friends and to go to events together – attended the Sharks training yesterday as the side ramped up their preparations with this weekend’s match firmly in focus.

As well as meeting and greeting the Sharks on Wednesday, 60 Gig Buddies will this Sunday be treated to a day out at Southern Cross Group Stadium.

Gig Buddies CEO Carol Smail said the opportunity provided by the Sharks to the group is one that will bring great joy to those in attendance at the weekend.

“The things we often take for granted are those most often seen as a significant event in the lives of those we help,” Smail said.

“A lot of those who will attend on Sunday, for them it will be their first time at a live game. That’s seen as a big leap for them.

“We’re very happy to be associated with the Sharks. They’re a Club with a strong emphasis on community building, one that puts family first, and a team that knows the importance of it’s supporters.”

Gig Buddies’ Media Coordinator Matt Collins, who accompanied the program’s attendees on Wednesday, said the organisation appreciates the efforts shown by the Sharks both at training, and to come on the weekend.

“The guys were in their absolute element; at the end of the day these players are their heroes. They had a great time,” he said.

“Every player was wonderful on the day, Shane (Flanagan) was brilliant too.

“Such small gestures for the players, be it having a chat or signing a poster, means so much to these people and it is gratefully appreciated.

“We’re all very excited, and looking forward to being at the game on Sunday.”

To learn more of the Gig Buddies program, click HERE