In some exciting news, the Cronulla Sharks have been allocated an $8million grant from the State Government as a contribution towards the development of a Centre of Excellence.
The Sharks welcome and support the decision of Mr Stuart Ayres and the Office of the Minister for Sport in distributing $50million dollars in grant monies to seven NRL clubs to develop Centre of Excellence facilities.
Planned as a multi-purpose facility, the Sharks proposed Centre of Excellence is set to benefit the community and allow the Club’s social contribution and impact to grow.
The Sharks began the application process to obtain the funding allocation some 18-months ago, with today’s announcement a major step forward in allowing the Club’s dream to become a reality.
Sharks Interim CEO Paul Eriksson was understandably thrilled with the news, confident the NSW Government contribution would not only lead to future benefits for the Club but also for the wider community.
“We thank Mr Ayres and his government for their consideration of the Sharks proposal and for the funds they have allocated to us,” Mr Eriksson said. “This provides the Club with a great opportunity to take major steps forward and will allow us to make an enormous social and sporting impact in our community.
“A Centre of Excellence is a key part of our strategy to grow grassroots participation, community programs, to deliver better outcomes for our junior pathways and elite programs and to provide facilities of the highest possible standard to support our NRL team.
“It will also be the first time the club is housed in a single facility,” Mr Eriksson added.
The Sharks Centre of Excellence is planned as a sporting, community and education hub, delivering high performance and welfare requirements while having the ability to drive innovation, pathway development and community engagement.
Proposed as the home of its community programs, the Centre of Excellence will also provide an opportunity to expand the Club’s interaction with disability organisations and grassroot initiatives and will leave a lasting community legacy.
The Centre, which is set to be the catalyst for greater business growth, will be a symbol of the Club’s ambitions and vision to be the Club of Choice across the NRL and all national codes.
In announcing the grants, with the Bulldogs, Souths, Knights, Sea Eagles, Roosters and Wests Tigers joining the Sharks as recipients, Mr Ayres said the development of these new centres will offer promising young athletes and high-performance athletes with multi-purpose world-class training facilities in their local area.
“They also provide NRL Clubs an opportunity to maintain a strong presence in traditional communities as the Government prioritises capital investment into a targeted number of NSW Government venues,” Mr Ayres said.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said the new Centres of Excellence would make a difference in local communities.
“We want people playing sport and the best way to do that is to provide world class facilities where people can seek to improve their skills, and that is exactly what this funding will deliver,” he said.
Funding from the NSW Government must be matched dollar for dollar from NRL Clubs and/or third parties, with Government investment not to exceed more than 50 per cent of the project costs.
The Sharks will now continue to explore their options in further developing concepts for their Centre of Excellence.