The Sharks Leagues Club has been recognised for their efforts in supporting community initiatives with two award nominations at the prestigious ClubsNSW Community Awards.
The Sharks were one of a host of registered clubs from across NSW named as a finalist in the awards which highlight the outstanding social contributions made by clubs in their local area and throughout the state.
The nominations for the Sharks Leagues Club, through the club's community arm Sharks Have Heart, come in the categories of Health and Wellbeing and Disability and Welfare and Social Inclusion, stemming from their support of the Skillz4Me program and the Make Bullying History Foundation.
A free service for families, Skillz4Me creates an inclusive, fun and positive environment for children on the Autism Spectrum or with additional needs, while Make Bullying History is a program that has already been delivered to over 10,000 students with the aim to eradicate bullying in the local Sutherland Shire region.
Skillz4Me consists of a free weekly sports session at Taren Point Youth Centre, running over 40 weeks and catering predominantly for children who cannot participate in mainstream sports due to their needs. It offers a wide range of activities in keeping the children engaged from week to week and in increasing their exposure to a variety of sporting experiences.
The key measure of success can be shown through the progression of the social skills and confidence of the participants in the Skillz4Me program.
The Sharks and Skillz4Me are one of 13 nominations in the category of Disability, Welfare and Social Inclusion.
As for the Make Bullying History Foundation, developed in 2016 by Brett Murray, the Club was eager to make an impact and difference in the lives of students and after recognising that bullying is prevalent for nearly all students at some point in their lives, the initiative works hard to make a difference in this space.
The Make Bullying History Foundation is built on the core value that every individual deserves to be treated with honour, dignity and respect.
The Sharks are one of 11 nominees in Health and Wellbeing.
The finalists are split into nine Awards categories: Arts & Culture, Clubs in Collaboration, Education, Emergency Services, Heart of the Community, Support of Amateur Sport, Youth Leadership and Disability and the two areas for which the Sharks have been nominated, Health & Wellbeing and Welfare & Social Inclusion.
ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball said that Awards organisers faced a tough judging process, with many high calibre entries received.
"Whether it's supporting junior sport, contributing to charitable organisations or finding innovative solutions to areas of need, clubs across NSW make an enormous social contribution to the areas in which they serve," said Mr Ball.
"The Clubs & Community Awards are all about recognising that spirit which underpins the ethos of the entire club industry."
From staff volunteering to feed the homeless, to clubs housing emergency service personnel during times of natural disaster, the spirit of NSW clubs has shone through in this year's list of finalists.
Clubs from as far north as Coffs Harbour, down to Merimbula in the south and out to Dubbo in the west, have been named in the list of finalists.
A record number of entries were received for this year's Awards, with winners to be announced at the Clubs & Community Awards gala dinner to be held at the International Convention Centre, Sydney, on October 13.