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The Sharks and Raiders face off later tonight for a game that takes on a little extra significance, with the two clubs to contest the Kokoda Challenge, a game designed to pay respect to the diggers who fought and sacrificed on the Kokoda Track in 1942 and Papua New Guinea's Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels who supported and protected them.

The Sharks will recognise the occasion by running out wearing a specially-designed Kokoda jersey, with an auction of the game-worn jerseys and 50/50 raffles on the night raising funds for the Kokoda Track Foundation.

An Australian aid organisation providing sustainable solutions in education, health, livelihoods and leadership in PNG, the Kokoda Track Foundation is inspired by keeping the story and spirit of Kokoda alive, while working with people and communities to improve the lives and futures of Papua New Guineans.

A delegation from the Sharks, which included NRL squad members Ava Seumanfagai and Jayden Brailey, Football Operations Manager Shane Smith and Physical Performance Manager Andrew Gray, completed the Kokoda track late last year and at the same time forged a relationship with the track foundation which is doing great work in the region.

The Sharks contingent visited schools and in partnership with Solar Buddies, installed solar lights in villages which previously had no lighting or electricity.

The plan is for the Sharks to revisit the region, to continue the good work which was started in 2017 and to build on their relationship with the Kokoda Track Foundation.

Friday night then becomes important, not only in bringing some recognition to those involved in the infamous wartime battle of 1942, but the Sharks are also using the occasion to launch the special opportunity to trek Kokoda.

The Sharks will revisit the region and trek Kokoda from October 15-24 this year, with those interested in finding out more and being a part of the group and this life-changing experience, encouraged to contact Shane Smith on 0452 430 084 or via email at [email protected]

As for the unique Kokoda Sharks jersey, it will feature some significant words and images, in a powerful message of gratitude for those involved in the military and the World War II campaign.

It will be the second year of the club wearing a Kokoda jersey and the second staging of the Sharks v Raiders Kokoda Challenge match.

The jersey is available for purchase through the Sharks store – CLICK HERE – while the 17 Sharks match-worn jerseys will be auctioned.

To find out more or to register to bid for a match-worn and individually-signed Kokoda jersey - CLICK HERE.

The Sharks also thank the Canberra Raiders for their support in continuing the tradition and for playing in and acknowledging the Kokoda Challenge match.

The 50/50 game day raffle on Friday will also raise funds for the Kokoda Track Foundation.

Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.