The Cronulla Sharks have celebrated Fiji Day at the Sharks Leagues Club, with a mixture of discussion, prayer and laughter.
Showcasing the ‘Heart of Fiji’, the morning was an opportunity from members of both the Fijian and Cronulla Sharks communities to come together and celebrate the most special of days on the Fijian calendar.
Fijian’s such as Fijian Consul General and Trade Commissioner, Mr Zarak Kahn, Reverend Ravetali and Pastor Alosio were all on hand to celebrate the independence of the island nation and come together for the strong bond shared between the two nations of Fiji and Australia.
The Consul General said that the occasion was something special and the Cronulla Sharks should be commended for their great work not only with the island of Fiji however the wider Pacific Islands.
“Today was a great event in terms of the Cronulla Sharks taking the opportunity to reach out to the Pacific Islands community and in particular Fijians and helping us to celebrate Fiji Day,” said Khan.
“It was great to spend time with the Non-Government Organisations (NGOs)… this morning and they were able to share their stories about how they’re giving back to the community in Fiji particularly in the aftermath of Cyclone Winston.
“In terms of future engagement, we’d like to wish the Sharks Organisation all the very best.
“Our hope as the Fijian Government is to try and see if we can have a future NRL game in Fiji which would feature the Cronulla Sharks. There’s a huge supporter base for Rugby League and we have a huge market.”
A Fijian Community leader, Rev. Ravetali said that the morning offered a fantastic opportunity to celebrate not only the national day of her country however the role that sport plays in the culture of the Fijian people.
“Sport is such a major part of who we are,” said Rev. Ravetali.
“We are very passionate with sports, especially football and the way Rugby League is taking over the island at the moment it’s quite interesting to see.
“We are so thankful to the Cronulla Sharks in giving a strategic way forward to look after and nurture not only it’s Fijian players but Pacific Island players who have been afforded the time to be nurtured (sic) not only because of the skills they have for the game they play but to gather them in such a way that is holistic and meaningful to them.”
The Sharks’ work with the Pacific Island nations has been a first of it’s kind in 2017, with programs such as ‘Adopt-A-Sharkie’ home stay program, run in conjunction with the QORE Group existing as an industry leader in making accommodation available for young Rugby League players of Pacific Island background.
Our Club was recently recognised also for it’s strong work within the Pacific Island community when we claimed the Public Relations Award for the work with Pacific Island diplomats and the home stay program.
Cronulla Shark GM of Business Development and Strategy Jonathan Prosser added that the day was a great occasion for both Club and country.
“It’s been an absolute honour to celebrate Fiji Day here at the Sharks and we are immensely encouraged by the warm words of support we have received from leaders in Government and community.