The Cronulla Sharks formally launched an exciting partnership with Gig Buddies at Centenary Park in Miranda last Saturday coinciding with the Sutherland Shire Council’s International Day of People with Disability celebrations.
The new partnership sees the Club joining forces with Gig Buddies to engage and empower people with disability through a new program, Shark Buddies, in what is a first in Australian sport.
Gig Buddies is an initiative of ACL Disability Services, aimed at empowering people with disability and preventing associated mental health and isolation issues.
Gig Buddies pair up people with disability with volunteers to attend gigs, shows and various events. The initiative currently has 150 registered clients and 325 volunteers.
In Round 9 of the 2016 NRL Telstra Premiership, the Sharks and Gig Buddies teamed up to trial a version of Shark Buddies.
Thirty clients and 30 volunteers cheered on the Sharks in a clash against Brisbane Broncos at Southern Cross Group Stadium, with the day a success and the overwhelmingly positive feedback led Gig Buddies and the Club to partner up and formalise the partnership for 2017 and beyond.
Shark Buddies is the first program of its kind, empowering people with disability through rugby league.
As of the 2017 NRL season, Shark Buddies will have the opportunity to attend three Sharks home games and one away game at a discounted rate. Shark Buddies will also get the chance to watch an NRL training session during the season.
The partnership between the Sharks and Gig Buddies will see them work together for a minimum of three NRL Telstra Premiership seasons.
The historic partnership and program came to life amidst International Day of Disability festivities in Miranda last weekend.
Cronulla Sharks’ Grand Final hero Matt Prior and young gun Jayden Brailey attended the launch, bringing with them as a ‘special guest’ the NRL Premiership trophy.
The Sutherland Shire Council’s event incorporating the Sharks Buddies launch, took place at Centenary Park, Karimbla Road, Miranda.
The Sharks are excited to work with Gig Buddies over the coming seasons to engage people with disability through high quality rugby league.