Sharks rewarded with ClubsNSW first

The Sharks Leagues Club has been recognised for their efforts in supporting community initiatives with a win at the prestigious ClubsNSW Community Awards held at the ICC at Darling Harbour on Saturday October 13.

Through the club's community arm 'Sharks Have Heart', the Sharks claimed first place in the Health and Wellbeing category for the Make Bullying History Initiative.

Sharks Leagues Club CEO Tim McAleer was on hand to accept the award, along with MBHI Founder Brett Murray, spoke of how proud he was for the team to receive the industry recognition they deserve.

"It's a tremendous achievement for the Club and for the Sharks Community team. They have worked tirelessly with Brett behind the scenes to develop and implement the program over the last three years" said Mr McAleer.

MBHI was developed by Brett Murray and has been running throughout the Sharks community since 2016. To date the program has delivered its anti-bullying message to over 11,000 students within the Sutherland Shire through 49 primary and high schools, with Sharks NRL stars like Josh Dugan, continually volunteering his time to help spread the word.

MBHI recognises that bullying is experienced by nearly all students at some point in their lives and aims to make an impact and difference in the lives of students who may be affected in one way or another.

The Make Bullying History Foundation is built on the core values of honour, dignity and respect for all individuals.

The Sharks were also a finalist in the competitive category of Disability, Welfare and Social Inclusion, for their Skillz4Me program.

A free service for families, Skillz4Me creates an inclusive, fun and positive environment for children on the Autism Spectrum or with additional needs.

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 were one of 13 nominations in the category of Disability, Welfare and Social Inclusion.

ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball said that the 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."